Why Are Routines Great for Mental Health?

An image of a notebook open to a page that says stay healty (healthy) with a pen on the page and a coffee and pinecones surrounding it.

Routines are a key aspect for a healthier life. When it comes to your mental health, they are something that can help make the stress, and therefore anxiety, better. A couple weeks ago I wrote an article about routines and different types, I’ll link that here. In that article I mentioned to watch out for another article regarding how routines benefit your mental health, and this is that article!

As discussed in the Reliable Routines That You’ll Love for Back to School, routines are very important to living a more balanced life. They are easy to create and helpful for your day to day life in general. Routines are also great for your mental health because of all the benefits that subconsciously and/or consciously happen as you perform those routines. Speaking of benefits, let’s talk about some!

Helps Cope with Change

We can all agree that change can be very hard to deal with and overcome. But believe it or not routines aid in our journey to cope when it comes to change. When something changes in your life, no matter what, you always end up falling back on the routines you had before the change occurred. It may not be exactly the same, but at least some version of it. You subconsciously return to those routines because your body and mind are craving the normalcy of having those familiar steps. 

Creates Healthy Habits

Routines are essentially healthy habits. If you don’t know, healthy habits are habits that you do everyday, but are habits that have a positive outcome. For example, doing skincare every night at bedtime. Having routines allows you to also have healthy habits because you’ve created routines based on your habits and incorporate that into your life.  

Wooden tiles that are laid out with nothing except there are 8 on top that spell out self care.

Healthy habits boost your mental health by giving you that satisfaction of doing healthy things. Whether it’s exercise, eating healthy or doing a hobby you love, the act of being healthy will increase your mental health. Then the added benefits of losing weight or finishing a project are just that, added benefits!

Avoid Burnout

Having routines that you can rely on help you avoid burnout by allowing you to have that recharge. They force you to stop and take care of yourself and provide a sort of break. Even if your regular routine doesn’t take that long to do, you are still taking that moment to focus on yourself and not everything going on around you. 

The way this works is the tasks that you perform for yourself is what self care is, and that is what helps your mental health. Most of the routines that you have made in some way incorporate that self care aspect, allowing you to boost your mood and therefore mental health.

Stay Organized

A picture of a planner beside a mac computer with glasses on top and a cup of coffee beside it.

Being organized is a huge factor in people’s stress, especially for the OCD and perfectionist in the crowd (ahem like me ahem). When things are a mess or cluttered sometimes our brain struggles to cope with that, leading to increased stress levels. This depends on the person and their personal level of cleanliness of course. But, when stuff is unorganized and you are (or get to be) stressed your mind goes into panic mode, making the situation worse. So having things in its place or plans set in advance will help keep your mind calm so you aren’t frantically trying to figure it out at the last minute.

Check out my Pinterest page for ways to keep organized in your home and routines for your mental health.

Helps with Relationships

3 wooden hearts of different sixes hanging beside each other.

Stress and anxiety can have a huge impact on your relationships, causing strain on said relationships. When we are stressed or panicked our mind goes into fight or flight mode, and because of this mode we may do or say things we don’t mean. So when we have routines, or certain things we like to do with people, we aren’t stressed about it and so we don’t have the chance to enter that fight or flight response. 

If you don’t know what the fight or flight response is, here is a great site that’ll help explain. 

Alleviate Anxiety/Depression

Routines will not only help alleviate stress, but it will go one step further and help reduce anxiety and depression. While routines can stop stress, in most cases they can’t stop anxiety and depression, but they can help limit them. Doing tasks and acts help alleviate mental health problems, basically because of everything that I’ve talked about above. Everything I’ve talked about thus far are what are called external stressors, so things you have around you that cause you stress. So, by reducing or eliminating external stressors you are in turn doing the same thing for your mental health. 

Benefits of Low Stress

Lowering your stress levels is very important for a longer, happier life. By taking action to reduce your stress you are creating a much more healthy life, which in itself will bring many benefits.

Some benefits of a low stress life:

Routines are something that is so important for your mental health. Having different types of tasks and acts in your life in the shape of routines allows you to focus on yourself, which is the number one most important thing in your life. 

How does your routine help you and your mental health?

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