Creating Healthy Routines

During Mental Health Awareness Month 2020 we are sharing five practical “Tools2Thrive” that everyone can use to bolster their mental health and increase their resiliency in the face of challenging situations. These practical tools include owning your feelings, finding the positive after loss, eliminating toxic influences, creating healthy routines, and supporting & connecting with others.

Work, paying bills, cleaning, cooking, shopping, exercising, getting enough sleep, and taking care of children are just some of the things millions of Americans do each day and it is easy to be overwhelmed.  It can feel impossible to get everything done. 

By creating routines, we organize our days in such a way that taking care of tasks and ourselves becomes a pattern that makes it easier to get things done without having to think hard about them. 

We all struggle with certain parts of our day more than others. All healthy routines should include eating a nutrition-rich diet, exercising, and getting enough sleep, but routines may not be exactly the same every day.

Fact: Strong healthy routines are linked to improved mental and physical health.

Questions to Ask Yourself when Planning your Routine:

  • What are some things you want to be part of your routine? (i.e. exercise, reading, etc.)
  • What gets in the way of you accomplishing your goals or tasks above? (i.e. working overtime, too tired)
  • What are things you can do to address the barriers you wrote down in the question above? (i.e start with a 30 min. walk, go to bed earlier)

Making life changes can be hard and you might forget to do something that is new to your routine every once in a while. You don’t have to be perfect, just try to do better the next day!

Fact: It takes an average of 66 days for a behavior to become a habit. Don’t give up!

Ask yourself: “How can I reward myself for successfully making new things part of my routine?” (i.e. If I walk for 30 min, 3 times per week for 2 weeks, I can treat myself to a dinner out.)

Be mindful that being brave enough to make a change is a win in itself. It takes time to build a habit.

Mental Health of America has created several handouts regarding practical tools to thrive when faced with difficult situations affecting your mental health. 

CLICK HERE for a PDF with additional information about Creating Healthy Routines

To learn more about this topic and other mental health awareness activities, visit Mental Health of America’s website.