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Wellness Wednesday: This is how a consistent routine impacts your mental health

In the hustle and bustle of modern life, maintaining a consistent routine might seem like a daunting task. However, research suggests that establishing and sticking to a regular daily schedule can have profound benefits for our mental health. Registered Counsellor, Melissa Smith weighs in.

The benefits of establishing a consistent routine include reduced stress and anxiety, improved quality of sleep and overall well-being. “When we have a predictable schedule, we know what to expect, which can help us feel more in control of our lives. This sense of control can reduce feelings of uncertainty and anxiety, leading to lower stress levels,” affirms Melissa.

If you’re wondering how a consistent routine can help improve sleep quality. She enlightens that our bodies have internal clocks, known as circadian rhythms, that regulate our sleep-wake cycle. “When we maintain a regular schedule for waking up and going to bed, we support these natural rhythms, which can result in better sleep. Poor sleep, on the other hand, is linked to increased stress, anxiety, and other mental health issues,” she says.

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Asserting that a routine can provide a sense of purpose and accomplishment. Practically, what does this look like? “You can achieve this by setting goals and tasks for each day, we give ourselves a sense of direction and motivation. Completing these tasks can boost our self-esteem and overall satisfaction with life, which are important factors in maintaining good mental health.”

If you’re looking to improve your time management skills, Melissa says a consistent routine can help with this too. “It can reduce feelings of being overwhelmed. When we have a clear plan for our day, we can allocate time for work, leisure, and self-care activities.” Affirming that this balance is crucial for preventing burnout and maintaining a healthy work-life balance.

“Moreover, a routine can help improve our relationships. When we have a predictable schedule, we can make time for social activities and connect with others. Strong social connections are vital for mental health, as they provide support and a sense of belonging.”

Melissa cautions against an inconsistent routine as it can have the opposite effect. “Living without a consistent routine can have detrimental effects on mental health. Without a predictable schedule, individuals may experience increased stress and anxiety due to feelings of uncertainty and lack of control.”

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Further enlightening that disrupted routines can also negatively impact sleep patterns, leading to insomnia and other sleep disorders. “Additionally, without a routine, it can be challenging to manage time effectively, leading to procrastination and feelings of being overwhelmed.” This can also have a negative effect on your social life, considering that you may struggle to find time for social activities. “Overall, a consistent routine is essential for maintaining mental health and well-being in today's fast-paced world.” Melissa recommends setting a schedule that works for you so you can reap the rewards. And the best time to start? Today

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