Those with depression understand how easy it is to spend the whole day lying in bed.
Depression, like all mental health conditions, is extremely disruptive in nature.
It turns your world upside down, leaving you to figure out how to make sense of your life from here on. It disrupts every aspect of your regular life, which is precisely why having a normal daily routine for managing depression is important.
While sticking to a daily routine for depression management might sound counter-productive to the whole process, it is beneficial. It allows you to be in control of your life while making space for what’s necessary.
In this blog post, we will dive deeper into the science behind how do schedules help with depression. We will also understand the kind of habits that can help you create a healthy daily routine for depression. Let’s get started.
How Do Schedules Help With Depression Management?
Depression is one of the most rebellious mental health conditions. It resists any form of routine or pattern. While you can always try to manage your symptoms by understanding your triggers, coping with depression isn’t always easy.
Since depression strays you away from your regular life, it is important to establish healthy patterns that help you structure and stabilize your life while coping with the rough surprises of depression.
The overwhelming impact of depression means that your life changes drastically, and it gets much harder to maintain a sense of control. However, in such times, maintaining a healthy routine for depression can help you regain control when everything else is slipping out of your hands.
A stable routine lets you focus on your physical and mental needs.
Every decision you make from the moment you wake up eats away at your mental reserves. Now, even though the human brain is amazing, it has its limits. At some point, your mental reserves dip below the required level, and it gets much harder to function. The situation is even worse if you are dealing with a mental health condition like depression.
This is exactly where a healthy daily routine for depression comes into place.
When you create a schedule, you can preserve the energy used in depleting activities like making decisions, getting out of bed, etc. Having a daily checklist for depression allows you to manage your symptoms as a part of your life rather than struggling to fit in space for your recovery.
Let us dive into the connection between depression and routine to determine the most important benefits of having a schedule for coping with the condition.
1. It anchors your life.
One of the most essential benefits of having a daily routine for severe depression is that when you struggle to hold onto a sense of normalcy in your life, this routine becomes your anchor.
No matter what is happening in your day or how your symptoms are making you feel today, knowing that you will have dinner at eight and sleep at ten can be really comforting. This certainty helps you manage the uncertainty associated with depression. With a daily routine, coping with depression symptoms feels much more doable than without one.
2. It reduces the need for decision-making.
As mentioned above, decision-making chips away at your mental reserves. In fact, an impaired ability to make choices or good decisions is one of the most common symptoms of depression. Unfortunately, getting through a day like this gets complicated. You will either spend much time pondering over stuff or avoid making decisions altogether.
Even something as small as getting out of bed is a choice that you make. For someone with depression, this can be extremely overwhelming, and they might spend the whole day in bed.
This is why having a daily routine for someone with depression management helps.
Adding regular habits to your routine reduces the amount of decisions you have to make daily. Each habit you add boosts your mental reserves daily, leaving you with a lot of energy to cope with the rest of the day.
3. It helps you cope with stress.
But when you have a set daily routine for depression management, a lot of things become muscle memory to you. It takes out the heavy stress and uncertainty from your day, making you feel more in control.
4. It helps you build effective practices for recovery in your schedule.
Managing and coping with depression requires you to be proactive about your lifestyle. While professional help is the most essential part of recovery, it requires certain changes in your daily life that can aid the overall process. This is what a daily routine for depression can help you do.
It allows you to build healthy habits like meditation, journaling, rest, and relaxation in your schedule. When these habits become part of your daily routine, practicing them is much easier.
Now, this isn’t a perfect scenario. There will always be times when you are too busy with other stuff or feel tired to get anything done. However, structuring a healthy schedule to factor in these habits means you will be able to make time for them on most days.
The Best Daily Routine For Depression Management
Now that we have discovered the connection between depression and routine, it is time to figure out how to put this knowledge to use.
While creating a healthy daily routine for coping with depression, it is important to incorporate your experiences and symptoms of depression. Depression is not a one-size-fits-all problem. It affects each person differently. For instance, if your depression makes you feel tired all day, it might help to add some extra nap time to your daily routine. However, if it makes you feel manic, adding a way to channel or utilize this energy might help.
With that being said, certain healthy habits can be a part of the daily routine for someone with depression, irrespective of their specific needs. Let us understand these healthy habits to help you create the best daily routine for depression!
At the top of our list for the best healthy routine for someone with depression is rest.
This means your daily schedule actually begins a night before the upcoming day. Therefore, prepare yourself for each morning by having adequate sleep every night. Try shutting down your devices a few hours before bedtime.
Apart from this, factor rest into your daily schedule as well. Take small breaks from daily chores to give yourself a much-needed break.
2. Personal hygiene
Personal hygiene is integral to your overall well-being and must be included in your daily routine for severe depression. Personal hygiene refers to bathing, changing and washing clothes, etc.
Now, we understand how difficult trying to get the most basic stuff can become for those with depression. So, if taking a bath feels like a lot right now, just sit under the shower and let your body get wet. After getting to this part, you might find it easier to take a proper bath.
For your dental hygiene, try to brush your teeth at least twice a day regularly. On the days when you feel better, you can incorporate flossing and going to your dentist for a regular checkup.
3. Cleaning and housekeeping
With depression, keeping your home clean and tidy can be a task. However, it is as important as physical hygiene.
The best way to add this to your daily routine for depression is to start small. Take baby steps. Break seemingly huge tasks into smaller ones, and don’t wait to do things when you ‘feel like doing them.’ Just get started.
A cluttered surrounding is going to clutter your mind eventually. You will see it, get irritated, and lose your sense of calm. Therefore, cleaning and housekeeping are important.
However, it is okay if you need help getting the big stuff done. But, for the smaller part, making the effort to get things done can genuinely be good for you.
4. Healthy activities
First things first, this is not an ‘you should exercise for depression’ advice.
With that out of the way, please hear us out once. Exercising, meditation, yoga, and journaling-like activities might sound loose bandage-like advice for dealing with depression.
However, as per research by Barbara Sahakian from the University of Cambridge, including healthy habits like exercising, good nutrition, meditation and yoga, and cutting back on screen time can effectively reduce your chances of having a depressive episode by a whopping 57%. They can also significantly help manage the symptoms of depression when combined with professional therapy.
5. Spend Time With Your social support systems.
An essential part of your daily routine for coping with depression must include interacting with your social support. A study by Psychiatry MMC shows that people who have little or no social support systems are more likely to have depression or relapse. Contrary to this, those with a more robust support system will likely recover faster.
Depression makes people withdraw from social activities. It makes it harder for them to reach out for social support.
This is why incorporating socializing in your daily routine for depression is a great way to spend time with your most cherished and reliable connections.
6. Pleasant Activities
Apart from healthy activities, if there is something you must try adding to your daily routine for coping with depression, that’s pleasant activities. Pleasant activities are anything that you enjoy.
For someone with depression, having these pleasant activities is tough because they find it difficult to have an interest in things that previously made them happy. So, if you can’t find anything pleasant, try doing something that previously interested you.
If you are not sure what to do, here are some ideas.
7. Read or watch something about people who are going through something similar.
With depression, you can easily feel cornered and lonely in a room full of people. Therefore, reading or watching stories of people who have dealt with or are experiencing depression can make you feel heard and seen.
Therefore, on days when you are simply looking for hope to carry on, reading a few pages or listening to these stories can help immensely. This is truly one of the best parts of a daily routine for depression management. It makes you feel less alone and gives you hope on days you most need it.
Depression and routine are deeply connected. While depression brings uncertainty in your life, a daily schedule can anchor your regular life and keep you grounded. It might give you a sense of control when everything around you feels rather shaky.
We hope this blog post on creating the best daily routine for depression will be helpful to you. While creating a routine, always remember not to tie yourself in too many time restrictions. Don’t be too rigid, and start monitoring every moment of your life. You can’t create a fixed routine for your whole day. But you can incorporate certain things into your schedule that will make coping with depression a tad bit easier.
Having a daily routine for depression is good. However, it is not a substitute for professional therapy. Access to professional therapy is now easier than ever with the advent of online therapy platforms. To learn more about the most affordable online therapy services, click here.
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