Create a Depression Routine So You Cope and Live Well
Depression requires routine to successfully cope with the illness. Because depression is not routine, it is important and beneficial to establish patterns that structure the way you live in order to combat the surprises that depression can often throw your way. I'm finding that my depression affects me more the less I follow a routine. I am less capable of bouncing back from a bad brain day; I have less control over my rapidly shifting moods; I dismiss my basic needs (Depression Does Not Eliminate Your Basic Needs). I've learned the hard way that living well with depression requires routine.
You Need a Routine If You Have Depression
Depression is a rebellious mental illness, avoiding routines and patterns. While we can often identify situations that trigger increases or decreases in depression intensity, depression's quirks aren't always predictable (Depression Symptoms: What are the Symptoms of Depression?).
Establishing a daily routine can combat depression's unpredictability because it creates stability for an unstable mind. I am more relaxed and I take better care of myself when I follow a routine, trusting the schedule that I have created and feeling proud of my ability to follow through with my plans. Routine makes coping with my depression part of my daily ritual, instead of a chore that I need to squeeze into my schedule.
Create a Depression Routine with Yourself in Mind
It is important that you create a routine that accommodates your experience with depression. Depression is unique for everyone, so everyone will not benefit from the same routine. For example, your depression might make you constantly tired, so you may want to fit a nap into your day. On the other hand, your depression might make you manic and you may want to replace a nap with something that utilizes your energy.
There are a few things that I think should be included in every routine, regardless of your specific depression needs:
- The same wake-up and bedtime every day: Ensure that you get plenty of sleep, as well as regulate your circadian rhythm, which influences your moods and brain health.
- Self-care time: Set aside time each day to take particular care of yourself (Practicing Self-Care Is Hard But Vital For Mental Health).
- Meal times: Set meal times and try as hard as you can to stick to them. It is too easy to skip a meal while coping with depression and eating is kind of important.
Establishing a Depression Routine Is Difficult, But Crucial
I'm impressed by the difficulty of setting a routine with depression and I'm still struggling to create a routine that works for me. I travel constantly and I don't know where I'll be until I've arrived (How I Travel and Vacation with Depression). I don't have a consistent work schedule around which to plan. And although I have tons of other excuses regarding my routine procrastination (pun intended), I require routine in order to live well with my depression. I can't put it off anymore.
Procrastination Can Ruin Your Depression Routine
Verbeke, T. (2017, February 22). Create a Depression Routine So You Cope and Live Well, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2019, October 18 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/copingwithdepression/2017/02/successful-coping-with-depression-requires-routine
Author: Tiffanie Verbeke
I try to eat and bathe everyday, but not at the same time each day, not for the same reasons, or at same places, etc.
I see this routine recommendation everywhere, and I don't understand it.
If it works for you, awesome, but how are you not bored like me?
I have agoraphobia and anxiety and going out for lunch or to the lunchroom makes it worse. Something else to work on. I find it is getting worse the more I have to deal with. My son has a drug problem and battles depression and anxiety. He is difficult at the best of times. I feel like I'm in the insanity cycle...doing the same thing repetitively hoping for a different result. It is all making my own problems worse with no end in sight.