As Aristotle once said, “we are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”
While I am not his biggest fan, there is some truth in that statement. Routines are important. They give our lives, our days, structure. They help us (often) prioritise. They help us accomplish things. Just to clarify, I am talking about good routines.
Bad routines do the opposite. While it is of no fault of your own that your depression, anxiety, or other mental health condition has left you bed-ridden, it is possible to take small steps to making a change.
We can gradually become more productive, and here is how:
1. Make sure to organise your day the night before.
Write it down. Put it in your diary/calendar. Use Amazon Echo or Google Home. Whatever it is that works best, make sure you set a good routine.
2. Have something to do in the morning which forces you to get out of bed.
For me, that is brushing my teeth and doing maths (weird, I know). I’ll briefly explain. I have ingrained in my life the desire to brush my teeth as soon as I step into the bathroom after having slept x amount of hours. So, each morning, I wake up with this urge to brush my teeth, which wakes me up even more! I have also begun doing maths in the morning (I had a really bad interview, which I’ll explain in another post). Maths was part of my daily routine when growing up, so doing something that stimulates my mind and that I enjoy helps.
3. Spread your activities throughout the day.
The hard part is choosing not to go back to sleep but this is possible if you include either small tasks throughout the day or work on a big project.
4. Schedule breaks in-between.
Meet/call/text friends during this break. Talk to a stranger (if you are comfortable doing so). During this time, spread some love.
5. Schedule me time in-between.
Go for a walk, meditate, watch a show on Netflix, read, or even sit outside observing life and nature.
Whether you prefer going in the morning, evening, or during the day, include exercise into your daily routine and schedule it into your life. It’s okay to take a few weeks to experiment with when works for you. I tried going in the morning but realised I was too tired during the day. I liked going in the evening but realised I would often become lazy and not go. So I’ve tried incorporating it around my lectures, going before or after the lecture.
7. Most importantly, have a gratitude book.
Or, at least find a way to write down what you are grateful for each day. You can do this in the morning or in the evening. I have found it helps me be more positive when times are dark.
There are many more tips, but I hope this is enough to get you started!
Written by Rodney
Liked this? Take a look at these: