6 Things to Add to Your Daily Routine if You Struggle With Mental Illness

daily routine for mental illness

Whether it be anxiety or depression, both can cause make getting out of bed or accomplishing minor tasks feel like hiking Mount Everest. And once the tasks start to pile up, it can feel impossible to catch up and then find a way to stay on track. 

Recent studies have shown that by implementing healthy habits into your daily routine, you can combat those feelings of helplessness. Here are six things that you can add to your daily routine to help you feel more in control of your mental health.

It should be noted that while these tips can help you feel more organized and clear-headed, they do not take the place of seeing a licensed professional.

1. Write Things Down

Making to-do lists, writing down worries, and journaling are good ways to transfer sources of anxiety to a hard location, allowing you to move on in your day without fixating on different things.

Falling asleep can become a near-impossible task when your mind is racing. But keeping a notebook near you throughout the day, as well as by your bed at night, can also help you keep your thoughts organized.

2. Appreciate, Don’t Apologize

By definition, apologizing means taking responsibility for a failure or offense. While it’s easy to think of yourself as a burden to others when asking for help. But in reality, people who assist you do not find you a burden or think that you are offending them by asking for help.

Try morphing apologies into sentiments that express appreciation. For example, instead of saying “Sorry for making you take me to the store,” you can instead say “Thank you for taking the time to take me to the store.” 

This can help change the dialogue for you to feel like less of a burden, and for the other person to feel appreciated for helping you.

3. Make Your Bed

It takes just a couple of minutes, but studies show that making your bed every day is positively correlated with better sleep and a happier mood.

Even if it means setting your alarm five minutes earlier so that you can add this to your daily routine, the possibility of a better mood and better sleep is worth it.

4. Set Reminders to Take Your Meds

If you have a prescription for anti-anxiety or antidepressant medications, it’s essential that you take them every day. Yet it can sometimes be hard to remember to take them.

Some medications require you to take them at a specific time of day, while others let you choose. Either way, set an alarm on your phone to help remind you to take your medications at the right time.

Even more important, don’t fall into the habit of snoozing your alarm. Make the decision beforehand to immediately take your meds as soon as you hear that reminder.

5. Connect With Someone

This one may seem a bit intimidating, but it can be as simple or complex as you make it. It can be your neighbor, a friend, a fast-food restaurant employee, or the cashier at the grocery store. Making these small but meaningful moments can do wonders for your mental health

By taking a couple of minutes out of your day to talk to someone, you can not only benefit your life, but the life of the person you’re connecting with. 

6. Get Outside

Sunshine and vitamin D can have many benefits on your mental health. Soaking in the sunlight can improve your mood, and the fresh air won’t hurt at all, either.

If you can’t find time on your day to take a walk, opening a window can still help. If all else fails, there are “happy lamps” that help induce the serotonin found in sunlight.

When to Seek Professional Help

One of the biggest lies depression and anxiety tell is that you have to do this fight alone. In reality, there are dozens of resources out there that can help you on your path to a better headspace.

While it may be frustrating to reach out to a third party to help you. Yet if you’re consistently finding yourself unable to do daily tasks, it might be time to seek help from a medical professional.

Support is always available. Make an appointment with a licensed therapist today to help you on your journey to recovery.