Build structure and routine in your life
Time management, resource management, self management!
I wrote this Rule because to accomplish anything, there needs to be a framework. Otherwise, we start things, get distracted, get thrown off course and efforts fizzle out. This can lead us to feel like failures, and robs us of opportunity to improve our lives. And life is constantly changing, so always in need of management.
conscious use of time
Too often we find ourselves doing the same things simply out of habit. Just for 3 days, keep a running log of how you spend your time. Are there activities in that log that you don't even know why you did it? Work on making conscious choices of how you spend your time. Write out a to-do list, set goals for the day.
cutting dead wood
Are there habits and routines you're still holding on to that at one time served a purpose but now aren't as important? As we move through life our priorities change, but our habits don't always keep up. Doing a periodic assessment of your committments can reveal large blocks of time doing things that are no longer important or helpful.
thinning the herd
Even if everything on your schedule is relevant, there is still no shortage of pressure to take on more and suddenly find yourself overdrawn on time. You have to say no to something sometime. Make conscious decisions about what's most important and stick to it.
credit card debt, impulse spending, savings, budgeting. Financial concerns play a significant role in mental health. Spending may bring short-term pleasure, but if unchecked, can bring long-term misery. Have a flexible budget that includes impulse spending and stick to it. If you can't do this on your own, find a free consumer credit counseling agency to help.
As with our time, space can get cluttered with stuff we don't want or need. Periodically cleaning out closets can save us time and stress. Have a bin in your bedroom. When you come aross clothes that you no longer wear, put them in the bin. When the bin is full, load it into your car and drop off at the nearest thrift store on your next trip. Things we tend to have too much of: clothes, books, videos, electronic gadgets, kitchen gadgets, toys, junk mail, to name a few. You can use the "bin technique" in any room where you find clutter. Doing it on an "as you see it" basis makes it so you don't have to set aside extra time for this consuming task. When the bin is full, just take it away.
Just as important, having a system for organizing can greatly reduce stress. Hook your keychain on the wall by the door, on that loop on your purse, on your belt loop. Keep a universal charger in the car. Have a multi-pocket folder in the car for coupons, maps, etc. Use small bins in the cupboard to contain spices, vitamins and medications, other small items so they don't go spilling out.
Having consistent structure and routine plays greatly into being able to maintain habits that support mental health. Self-care includes any of the Ten Rules that support the core habits of sleep, diet and exercise. Individual pages on each of these topics are provided.
Nobody knows what all is on your plate better than you. You know you're a good person who helps out when you can, and your life is meaningful and contributes in some way to society. So when those additional requests for support, assistance, time, money come in you need to be able to make conscious decisions about this. There are no set rules for deciding whether to say yes or no, or for asking for help, but there are guidelines. DBT therapy provides a set of Interpersonal Effectiveness Skills to help guide you.
A Balancing Act
You never step into the same river twice, meaning you never deal with the exact same situation twice, so maintaining routine and schedule has to be flexible and open to change. Being conscious of your goals and priorities can help you make good decisions. Counseling can help you get set goals and get into a healthy fulfilling routine and improve health and quality of life. Call for an appointment and we can get you back on track.