How Planning Can Improve Mental Health During COVID
Why You Should Plan Your Way Through COVID
The Power of Routine
For most people, keeping a daily routine is powerful and comforting. It gives us certainty in our day, allowing us to effortlessly move from task to task. Without a daily routine, the smallest decisions of our day such as what we should eat, which task to do first, and when to exercise can exhaust our problem-solving mechanisms. This then makes more difficult decisions seem all the more stressful and overwhelming.
By simply planning out your day, you can develop a daily routine that will give you the comfort and predictability that so many of us are missing in these uncertain times.
Know What’s Ahead
Being unsure of the future can be extremely nerve-wracking, which in turn can be damaging to your mental health. By simply planning out everything that is ahead of you, you can take away some of that uncertainty. It will also free you from the endless to-do list running through your head, externalising your responsibilities. This allows you to deal with them one at a time instead of becoming overwhelmed and unable to make any headway on your day-to-day tasks.
Stop Running Late
Constantly running late for things is often considered a personality trait, but it doesn’t have to be. Always running late can actually be damaging to your mental health, causing you unnecessary anxiety in an already anxious time. By planning out your appointments and your daily routine, you’ll be more likely to stay on time, reducing your daily anxiety.
Schedule Time For Yourself
While we’re stuck inside in a pandemic, it may seem as though all you have is time for yourself, but how much of this time do you consciously dedicate to self-care? By planning your way through COVID, you can schedule time for yourself whenever you need it. This isn’t the same as spending time procrastinating or mindlessly binging Netflix. Schedule time to do something that makes you truly happy and ensure that you keep your appointments with yourself.
Find More Time in the Day
Do you feel as though your time is being eaten up with daily tasks? Planning can help. Small changes such as planning out your meals and when you will exercise can make a big difference to your daily routine. You’ll find that with a dedicated plan your day will run smoothly, giving you windows of time throughout the day where you can relax and reset.
When it comes to managing and maintaining our mental health, goals are a valuable tool. Planning out your goals and setting deadlines for yourself can make you feel more motivated and productive. Whether it’s something small like going for a walk every day or learning a new skill, planning it out will make you more likely to see through your goals which will, in turn, maintain good mental health practices.
See Your Achievements
At the moment, each day can feel the same. Without leaving the house or seeing anyone new, it can feel as though we’re stuck in one place, not achieving anything, which can negatively impact mental health. By planning out your time, you will be able to look back on your days, weeks, and months and clearly see everything you have achieved throughout the pandemic. Seeing this visual representation of your progress and accomplishments gives you a more accurate impression of how you’re spending your time. This visualisation will then boost your self-satisfaction and overall mental health.
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