Routine is a key part of everybody’s life and it is especially important for those suffering from depression. Start small and then gradually build up your own expectations of what you feel you can do within your day, there is a big difference between difficult and impossible.
Remember that withdrawal and decreased routine is a common early indicator of depression, therefore it is easy to understand why routine is the obvious first step to accomplish.
At this stage it is important that you understand small steps are fine. Once you have listed each step in your daily routine, you will find your already well on the way to recovery.
Here are the steps to help in your recovery:
Regular routine enables you to function better â€“ Set yourself small daily tasks you feel you can do.
Write them down and don’t worry if you don’t want to do them, this is fine just do them anyway.
Challenging your sleep and wake cycle â€“ Set a routine for the time you go to bed and the time you awake. If you find you are struggling with your sleep pattern don’t break in to the habit of sleeping in the day. Maintaining this routine will ultimately help you reach your goal.
Make regular exercise part of your routine â€“ You should build exercise into your daily routine as this is proven to motivate and also promotes better sleep.
Build your routine around your daily chores â€“ Allow a certain amount of time each day to do your house-hold chores. Avoid setting aside a specific day each week to do this as it can easily become overwhelming. Instead break them down into smaller more manageable daily tasks.
Organise your meals and eat regularly â€“ Set yourself specific time’s each day to plan and make your meals.
Do things you enjoy â€“ Encourage yourself to do things you enjoy or used to enjoy. By doing this it will make your daily routine that bit easier. Your depression may not lift immediately but the benefits will soon become apparent.
Encourage yourself to keep working â€“ Although you may feel you can’t face work, it is a big part of your daily life and routine. It is easier to add to your daily routine than it is to start from scratch.
Fitting your family and friends into your routine â€“ It is very easy for someone to distract you from your routine. Arrange a set day and time each week to see your family and friends, this will ensure your other daily routines are not disrupted.
Television and the programmes you love â€“ Take the time to watch the programmes you love, you mustn’t feel guilty about sofa time being part of your routine. Organise the days and times your favourite programmes are on and sit back and enjoy.
Please see below to view one of my daily routine’s:
Wednesday - My Daily Routine:
8.00am My alarm will wake me
8:15am Have a bath/get dressed
9:00am Make Breakfast
Feed the cats and dog
9:45am Put washing on
10:15am Go to work
4:00pm Finished work
4:15pm Hang washing out/ironing
Feed the cats and dog
5:00pm Take the dog for a walk
6.00pm Go gym class with my sister
7:15pm Do some work on my blog
9:00pm Take the dog for a walk
10:00pm Feed cats and dog
Read some of my book
11:00pm Bed Time with a horlicks
Ultimately organisation is the key to forming any routine in your life. Once you have built the foundations and listed each task in your daily routine, it will then become second nature to you.