Anxiety means you require normality in your life. Having a good routine helps with this. Learn more on getting your routine sorted here now!
If you have anxiety, having a proper routine can really help you. It helps lower anxiety and stress levels and allows you to cope better when a curve ball comes your way. Here are my top tips on getting that routine back in shape.
But why have a routine in the first place? As I briefly mentioned above, a good routine, that also helps you look after your well-being, is great for anxiety and other mental health issues. Anxiety tends to make you want normality in your life so that you know what you’re up to when (or at least that’s what it does to me anyway).
Although this may seem negative, as you’ll want to limit aspects of your life that cause anxiety, it does have a positive impact on your mental health too. We fly through life taking lots of granted and not always looking after ourselves. By having a good routine in place it allows you to plan out your day with intention and forces you to make time for yourself too.
In an effort to have control over my life, I have to have a routine. Any changes to it and it throws me off. But, because I’ve planned for changes, it helps me cope better when they happen.
So, here are my top ways that could help you fix your routine if you’re feeling a bit all over the place.
Just FYI, I’m not going to go into a huge amount of detail as I know your routines are different to mine. I want to give you an overall view of where you should start/work on improving.
Shall we start?
Spend a lil time planning your day/week/month
Having a good daily routine means you need to spend time figuring it all out. Otherwise, you can pretend you’ve got your routine all sorted down to a T, but you won’t remember it. So, I always suggest sitting yourself down and working out what your daily/weekly/monthly tasks are and writing them down. Writing it down is key to this as you’ll end up forgetting.
If you don’t know where to start, just make a note of your appointments to start. Write down when you want to go food or general shopping. Make sure you make time for travel there and back again too so you’re not rushing around. Once you have those down, you could next start on when your bills are due.
Having control over your money is a good idea as it allows you to plan other activities around it, and you know how much money you have free. I wrote a post about why having a budget is great for those with anxiety – read it here.
Next, you could start writing down any social events you know you have coming up (or lack thereof, as is the case with me!). Again it’d be a good idea to work out what you need to do beforehand, what preparation you need to make, etc.
Once you have all that down, you can continue adding anything you want to bring to your own attention. The main thing is you spend the time doing it, which leads me nicely onto my next point.
Read more about getting a plan together here and here.
Don’t ignore your routine, as much as you might want to
Avoiding this task is easy. But if you suffer from anxiety like I do, you may really benefit from getting your routine sorted. You don’t need to go into huge amounts of detail if you don’t want to, but it’s a good idea to get going.
If you find yourself procrastinating over your routine, the worst part is getting started. I find that a lot of things in life are harder starting than the actually doing the thing itself. My advice to you would be to push yourself past that barrier and do it. Maybe even set yourself a timer so you know when you can stop.
When I’m feeling like this, it’s a lot like doing chores. Maybe you could give yourself a little reward for getting your head down and planning. Buying yourself something small like some makeup or that top you’ve had your eye on for a while could work for you. Whatever makes you happy, use it to reward yourself after getting through planning your routine.
Read more on procrastination here.
Being spontaneous is cool too
If you’re the spontaneous type, this is for you. I want you to know that although a routine is great for those with anxiety, it doesn’t mean you can’t go out on a whim sometimes. I am far from spontaneous but I know that some of you reading this probably are.
So, if you feel like going for a drink after work with your colleagues, do it. If you fancy a takeaway one night, do it. I want you to know that you can still break the rules sometimes, and that’s okay.
If this sounds like you, I would suggest blocking out some time where you can leave your night free. What this does it allows you to keep to your routine, but also expect to bend it a little because you’ve made time for it.
Having a routine shouldn’t mean you have no life. A routine should enrich your life, not restrict it.
Make time for self-care and your well being
Well, I couldn’t ignore this point!
Creating, keeping and sticking to a routine allows you to make time for yourself once in a while. I’ve written before about how anxiety makes you focus on the negative and makes it hard to take care of yourself. This is where a routine becomes perfect for this.
If you’ve followed through all of the above and now have your routine down, somewhere in there you’ll have spare time. I know this might sound impossible to some of you, but somewhere you’ll be able to find room for a little ‘me’ time. The great thing about a routine (once you’ve done it), allows you to see what is wasting your time.
Cut out as much as possible that you think isn’t working for you. An idea could be shopping online rather than in a store. That’ll mean no long trips to the shops like you usually would. Or how about blocking out time in the week to do the cleaning? Doing chunks of things together keep you in a good frame of mind and mean less time wasted trying to get started in the first place.
Now that you’ve been able to assess what is working and what isn’t, you can start to include self-care activities. Here are some ideas I wrote about a little while ago. It’s so important to look after yourself even when you don’t feel like it.
A few things that I do to look after myself are to do a little exercise each day (minimum of 30 minutes), eat my fruit and veg, and write. I like to spend time by myself sometimes, and writing lets me do that. I also LOVE to nap. Although this isn’t great for your sleeping patterns, it’s something I just like to do!
Sorting out and keeping to a routine is really great for those with anxiety. Plus, it’s not as hard as it may seem. A routine helps cut out the stuff that isn’t benefitting you and allows you to work on making time for a bit of self-care too.