Many people struggle in the wintertime because the cold and dark make them feel isolated. It can also make you feel quite blah and can oftentimes result in seasonal depression. At other times you may just find yourself struggling because you’re going through a major transition in your life (e.g. a breakup, divorce, move, loss of job). This can cause your typical schedule to fall apart. Regardless of the reason though, it’s helpful to create some structure in your life.
Having a predictable structure will leave you feeling more grounded. This is why children thrive on routines and become rattled when it’s broken. It’s because structure helps reduce their anxiety since they know what comes next.
It’s important to understand that there are both healthy and unhealthy routines though. For help getting more structure in your life, there are some tips.
Make a map of Your Ideal Day
What would your ideal day look like? When would you do things? How would you let go of your anxiety? How would you end your day in a way that leaves you feeling satisfied instead of battling depression?
Take a moment to think about the activities you both have to do and want to do. Now think of this in terms of time chunks. Also, consider having different routines for both the weekdays and the weekends. Make sure you build in a break at the end of each time chunk.
Make a map of Your Week
Build your weekly goals into your daily routines so you’re not left feeling anxious about them as the end of the week draws near. The best way to do this is to sit down on Sunday night before you get caught up in the midst of another hectic week and make a list of these things. You don’t want to let this overwhelm you though because then it can lead to depression. Instead, set three or four goals so you have priorities for the week then break those up into smaller chunks. By being proactive instead of reactive you won’t be left to deal with anxiety.
Re-Evaluate Your Map
Don’t let your map get you to the point you’re battling depression. Sometimes the structure you set up simply doesn’t work for whatever reason. When this happens you’ll want to step back, re-evaluate, and fine-tune things. Make sure you don’t leave big tasks for when you’re feeling tired and that you’re leaving enough time in your schedule for things like exercise.
Catch bad Habits as Soon as They Start
Your goal here is to create a healthy, functional lifestyle that works well for you. Unfortunately, old bad habits may still find a way to creep back into your life. Regardless of what this habit is or if you’re being emotionally-driven it’s still important to combat these as soon as you see them happening. When you’re alert to these things you can stop to question why they’re happening and look at whether anxiety or depression is the root cause of them. By taking the time to focus on these underlying problems and getting the support you need you’ll be able to quickly get back on track.
While we’re all creatures of habit, we can create those habits and routines that are going to work the best for us. This is something you should get started today. However, you may still find times when despite your best plans things still aren’t working out for your mental health in the way you’d hoped they would. Whether you’re struggling with anxiety or depression you owe it to yourself to get the help that you need. If you live in Tampa, FL contact the TMS Advantage today.
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