Anyone who struggles with mental illness knows how hard it can be to complete regular daily activities. Life is chaotic with so many things to do and not enough time to do them. Balancing Work/school, eating healthy, exercising, chores, errands, spending time with family and friends and self-care seems IMPOSSIBLE at times.
What I really want to do is nothing at all most days. I want to relax, let my emotions calm down and be able to enjoy my day instead of constantly running around. Sometimes I get in a funk and want to do nothing for days. Then I feel guilty for being so lazy and unproductive. There is no winning!
The other day I did some research on laziness and how someone can overcome such a state, as it’s getting in the way of my success. It was amazing what I learned. I read an article that suggested assessing your situation and finding the true cause of your laziness. The common reasons people are often lazy are because they are feeling tired, overwhelmed, afraid, uninspired or stuck. When I read this I realized I was often feeling all 5 at some point during my day. With this new insight I looked deeper and figured out what specifically in my daily routine was making me feel this way. It was amazing how many little things would stress me or make me unmotivated and after chatting with my husband I realized the solution was to make my day as easy and stress free as possible so I could accomplish normal everyday tasks.
Here are some daily routine hacks that I have incorporated into my week so I can feel well emotionally and be productive:
- Establish a routine and goals for each day, week and month.
I’ve heard many mental health professionals say establishing a routine is key. In the past I have never been able to schedule my day down to the minute as I’m a bit of a free spirit. It stresses me if I don’t follow a schedule exactly due to my perfectionism. But I’ve realized how to schedule my day so it doesn’t feel so strict but also makes me productive and calm.
I figured out my wake and sleep times first and then wrote down my goals for each day with no specific times set. That way I can have flexibility.
I found an amazing site with multiple free printouts for day, week, month and year schedules and to-do lists. It was fun to find one that worked for me!
- Meal prep as much as you can.
I absolutely hate cooking during the week because I’m so exhausted after my work day. Lately I have cooked a few things on a Sunday so I have them for the week and I can grab and go as I please.
Lately I’ve been cooking ground turkey with taco seasoning and having taco salads for lunch. It’s super easy and delicious! I’ll often cook chicken on the weekend and have it for a couple days along with some veggies for dinner. It doesn’t take much to have healthy meals, just plan ahead and have easy things on hand like fruit, veggies, yogourt and cereal.
I usually never have time for breakfast so I started buying high protein Boost drinks. I feel like an 80 year of women at times but it really helps me to get my nutrition in the morning and it keeps my appetite at bay.
- Have a small bag of your staple cosmetics that you can quickly grab in the morning.
I have a huge makeup and hair cupboard but I typically don’t use evertyhing for a typical work day. I keep a bag with some staples like a hair brush, elastic, mascara, foundation, eyebrow pencil and blush and everything in the bag is all I use to get ready (plus toothbrush). It makes me WAY less stressed as I don’t have to go rummaging through my cupboard looking for things.
Another tip: do your hair and makeup but don’t feel like you have to look like a model everyday. I used to go all out but it would overwhelm me in the mornings and then I would end up wearing no makeup which would make me feel less confident. And confidence really helps my mood.
I learned to minimize my work day makeup. I wear a few products that make me feel and look professional and leave my other products for when I have a special outing and more time to apply it.
Please note though it is totally fine if you don’t want to wear makeup. To quote Hailee Steinfeld – “You feel greatest when you feel like a damn queen”. If you feel great and confident without makeup that’s great. YOU DO YOU!
- On Sunday, pack 5 days of work-out clothes and put them in your gym bag/car.
I NEVER want to exercise after a long day at work. I always want to go home and veg. However exercise is really important for those who struggle with mental health as it improves mood and reduces stress. When I have my clothes in my car for the week, there is no effort and no excuses on my part. I can go to the gym before I get home and the laziness sets in. It’s made a huge difference having my clothes on hand instead of having to go home, get dressed and go out again. HUGE HACK!
- Choose your outfit the night before.
Everyone says this but it’s totally the best way to go. When I have my clothes picked out the night before for the next day it’s amazing how my stress lowers.
Everyone has to figure out what works for them. I’m still figuring it out every day but I thought I would share some insight in case it helps others!
If anyone has any more insight into daily hacks please share in the comments section!
Thank you for reading! All the best!