What you do every day can have a profound impact on your mental health risk. It’s true! Whether you are a fan of routine or you’re the type of person who prefers spontaneity, it’s important to consider how your daily habits affect your mind and emotions.
How, exactly, are your daily routine and mental health risk connected? Check out the information below to learn all about it.
Experts Say You Should Find a Daily Rhythm and Stick to It
According to CNN, a study was published in the journal, The Lancet Psychiatry. Researchers focused on disruptions to individuals’ circadian rhythms (the sleep-wake cycle that we all have) by tracking more than 91,000 adults in the UK.
During the study, participants wore an accelerometer on their wrist. This device measured their daily activity level throughout the day and night.
Experts discovered that maintaining a normal daily rhythm, which involves being active by day and sleeping by night, is a great way to improve cognitive function and mood. Beyond that, a daily routine is also associated with a decreased risk of bipolar disorder and major depression.
The Importance of Sleep
As a result of this study, researchers concluded that individuals who have more disruptions to their circadian rhythm (higher amounts of activity at night, lower activity during the day, or a combination of the two) were more likely to develop symptoms associated with major depression or bipolar disorder. On top of that, those people were more likely to suffer from a decrease in feelings of well-being, along with a reduction in cognitive functioning.
What does this mean for you? Well, it’s important to get a good night’s sleep every night, that’s for sure. Beyond that, you can also take steps towards being more active while the sun is out so that your body will begin to realize that, when it’s dark, it’s time for relaxation and bed. So, if you’re a night owl, it might be time to trade that lifestyle in for one that has you going to bed earlier and rising earlier as well. Doing so can give you more energy during the day, and it can also reduce your mental health risk. Definitely a win-win!
How to Set the Right Daily Routine
Even though the idea of reducing your mental health risk sounds great, you still might find it difficult to maintain a regular rhythm daily. For many, this is easier said than done, particularly when there are so many responsibilities to juggle. However, small steps can add up, so consider trying the following to get on track:
- Going to bed at the same time every night and getting up at the same time every day
- Sticking to exercising only during the day
- Avoiding caffeine past noon
- Avoiding the use of electronic devices before bed
All of these steps can help you get the rest that you need to feel physically and mentally refreshed by morning.
Beyond Sleep Schedules: Other Ways to Reduce Mental Health Risk
In addition to making sure that you get enough sleep every night, there are various other ways that you can incorporate more routine into your daily life. This, in turn, may help reduce your mental health risk, so it’s definitely worth putting in the effort.
First off, it’s important to give yourself some time every day to maintain a balance between what you give to others and what you give to yourself. If you focus too much on nurturing others, and you never care for your own body, mind, and emotions, you might end up increasing your mental health risk over time. So, whether you want to take some extra time to read a book or magazine, watch some TV, meditate, take a relaxing bath, or do anything else, go for it. And don’t feel guilty about it! In other words, add some “me time” to your routine.
Secondly, you can do something every day for your professional life so you can take steps to continually grow and succeed. This might involve taking an online course that you work towards completing. Or you might decide to jump into an informative book about the work that you do. Then, you can move on to the next project that will allow you to learn something new. The possibilities are endless and taking some time out of every day to do this is a great way to establish a routine, while also having a goal in mind that you’re working towards.
Finally, when it comes to your relationships, having a routine is important too. Make time to talk to and see your friends. Give time to your significant other every day so that he or she doesn’t end up feeling neglected. Remember, it’s all about balance, but even on days when you’re super busy, taking the time to take care of your relationships will help you reduce mental health risk because you’ll be able to rest assured that you have a support group to turn to when you need them.
Give Routine a Try to Reduce Mental Health Risk!
If you’re the type of person who doesn’t like the idea of following a routine, you might want to think about it again. Having a routine that includes taking care of your body, mind, career, and relationships is a great way to promote balance and lower your mental health risk. And, if you have trouble establishing a routine, all you have to do is start slow and work your way up to healthy daily habits.