Structuring Your Daily Routine to Promote Strong Mental Health
Maintaining Mental Health when building a business and creating the life you want is often overlooked, which then leads to burn out and other challenges in your business and personal life. Creating a daily routine that includes sleeping, eating, exercising and recreational activities in a busy schedule, allows you to work better, be more proficient, and stay fulfilled.
There is no one-size-fits-all routine to create space for good mental health. Lifestyle and Career Coach Harper Spero shares, “There are many ways to get into a routine, but the number one rule is to make it work for you. Just because a routine works for your friend or family member doesn’t mean it’s the best for you to take. Routines help you manage your time better, be more productive, less stressed and feel less overwhelmed.”
This isn’t about adding more things to your to-do list, but rather acknowledging you need to maintain your health overall, including the often neglected mental health.
Here some other activities to consider in your daily routine:
- Prepare for your day the night before
- Wake up at the same time every day
- Don’t check your email in bed
- Stay organized with a planner (here are 10 options recommended by fellow creative entrepreneurs!)
- Take 5 minutes to stretch and wake up your body
- Start with small acts of self-care (washing your face, flossing)
- Make your bed
- Have breakfast and a cup of coffee or tea away from your computer or phone
- Set boundaries around your work hours
- Plan free time as a cushion in your schedule where you can work on whatever you want or catch up on things
- Try these 9 yoga poses for reducing stress and anxiety
- Create blocks in your schedule for focused activities (content creation, client work)
- Drink lots of water
- Block out 20-30 minutes (minimum) for self-development practices like journaling, meditation, or reading
- Take breaks after completing a task
- Go for a walk
- Eat meals that nourish you throughout the day (plan these out too!)
- Make time for family and/or hobbies
- Acknowledge three things your are grateful/thankful for
- Go to bed at a regular time
- Do more of whatever it is that boosts your mindset!
Another thing you may want to consider during the week is ensuring you are socializing – perhaps learn something new in a collaborative setting, attend a networking event, or seek out a support group in your area. As entrepreneurs, life can feel pretty isolated and structuring your mental health by engaging with like-minded people, the people who get it, is a great way to have support and will also help combat the loneliness of being your own boss. Even though being around other people may be the last thing you want to do when you’re having a down day, socializing can help improve mood and fight depression.
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Your morning sets the tone for your entire day. Nicole Amesbury, Therapist and Head of Clinical Development at Talkspace (an app that connects users digitally with a licensed therapist), suggests taking a few moments to appreciate life:
“When you wake up, rather than dragging your feet into the shower, try opening up the curtains and looking outside of the window. A few short moments of sunlight can help lift your mood and if you have the luxury of time, take a stroll and enjoy the beauty of nature before the day rushes by you. By doing this, you earn a few moments of relaxation and can mentally prepare yourself for what’s ahead.”
Her recommended morning ritual is to make up your bed and make up your mind:
“When someone feels blue, the urge is to stay in bed or crawl back under the covers. Making your bed can change your mentality in two different ways: 1) you won’t want to go back to sleep because once it’s neat, you won’t want to mess it up; 2) while you’re making your bed, you’ve already made up your mind to start the day.”
When there is no structure in your day or week, you will feel drained not just emotionally but mentally and physically. Sunday afternoon is a great opportunity to decide on meals for the week, plan out your days, and decide when in your schedule you’ll make time for family and other things.
RELATED READ: The Importance of Structure
The benefit of having a daily routine is that you are supporting yourself as a whole to reduce procrastination, hone in on priorities, keep on track with your goals, and simply be a healthier version of you. Nicole notes, “Getting into a daily routine can benefit your mental health because it creates stability, structure, and familiarity.”
Putting your needs first and ensuring that your mental health continues to be well, is a necessity, not a luxury.