How a Routine Has Helped My Mental Health

I’ve dealt a lot with depression and anxiety in the past. I’ve had quite a few ups and downs, and what I’ve realized is that I always feel more in control and more settled when I have some sort of routine in place.

When I talk about a routine I don’t mean that I do the exact same thing every day. That would probably pull me into a slump because I’m the kind of person that needs to have a variety of experiences and activities regularly.

What I really mean is that I have certain daily habits that keep me grounded. It took me a while to figure out what these should be, and they most likely will change again with time.

Here are the things I do (almost) every day. Let me know if you have any routines of your own.

I create a to-do list and also check what I’d previously written down in my planner. To-do lists give me a sense of purpose, whether or not I have that much to get done. Keeping track daily of what needs to get done reminds me that there are things I enjoy doing or that others are expecting me to do. This system also keeps me motivated at times when I might otherwise stop putting in much effort.

I clean my room. I feel like a clean bedroom gives me more space to think and relax. When I miss a couple days of putting everything away, I start to feel restless or annoyed. Every morning or night, I try to make sure all my clothes and shoes are put away and that everything is in the right place. This has become easier now that I own less things in general.

I journal in my one-sentence journal. I love the idea behind this journal, and I’ll be doing this kind of daily journaling for the foreseeable future. It’s been so fun to write in this over the years and then to be able to read back on what happened on that day the year before. Sometimes I miss a few days, but my memory is good enough that it’s not terribly difficult to figure it out.

These are some of the daily habits I’ve tried to form, but they don’t necessarily have to be yours. Let me know if there are any routines or habits you’ve formed that have been beneficial to you. I would love to read about them!

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