This blog was written by Sadia Maqsood, Speaks 2 Inspire:
If you’ve been going through rough mental health days, it might be time to consider changing your daily routine.
Why is routine important for mental health?
A healthy daily routine improves our focus, productivity, health, and relationships. In times of uncertainty, establishing a routine can help us cope better, giving us a form of structure and consistency in our lives. It also eliminates cognitive overload, making it easier to perform tasks and make decisions.
Here are some tips on how to create a healthy mental health routine:
Wake up and go to sleep at the same time every day
Your body has an internal clock. Having regular sleep and wake times keeps this internal clock regulated. Try to get 7–8 hours of sleep each night so you don’t feel exhausted and lethargic throughout the day.
Shower every day
Showering every day may seem like a chore, but taking a hot shower at the beginning of the day can put you in a relaxed state of mind. Bathing has even been shown to reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression.
Set designated mealtimes
If you find yourself binge eating throughout the day, setting specific mealtimes can help. When you eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner at the same time each day, you’re less likely to snack during the day.
School can be demanding. During peak months of the academic year, the stress can be so overwhelming that you forget to take care of yourself. The boundaries between academic life and personal life can get blurred.
To avoid this, separate “me time” from school time. During your “me time,” give yourself a break, order your favorite cup of coffee, go for a run, or simply lay down in your bed and relax.
Have an active social life
The pandemic taught us the importance of socializing. When we were stuck inside our homes, unable to connect with people, our mental health went downhill.
Integrating time for socialization into our daily routine is essential because it helps us release stress, build confidence, and bring a sense of connection into our lives. So schedule time in your routine to hang out with friends and family often.
When you’ve achieved a good grade or stuck to a routine, reward yourself with your favorite thing. Watch a movie, eat ice cream, play that new video game—celebrate your victories! Don’t wait for someone else to pat you on the back. Be your cheerleader.
Doing things at the last minute can add to your stress. Start doing things ahead of time, such as prepping meals, choosing an outfit for the next day, or writing that essay you’ve been procrastinating.
It will take more effort in the short term, but it will save you a lot of energy and time down the line.
Start with baby steps
Building a healthy mental health routine can seem like a daunting task if you try to do too much too soon. Take it one step at a time, and don’t try to bite off more than you can chew.
For example, start by making your bed each morning or reading for five minutes each day. By starting small, you’ll build momentum, and eventually, it will become easier to accomplish bigger tasks.
More Mental Health Resources
This blog was written by Sadia Maqsood. Connect with the writer, Sadia, on LinkedIn.
At Speaks 2 Inspire, we’re committed to raising mental health awareness among young people in schools.
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