From XU Magazine, 
Issue 39

Routines and your Mental Health

This article originated from the Xero blog. The XU Hub is an independent news and media platform - for Xero users, by Xero users. Any content, imagery and associated links below are directly from Xero and not produced by the XU Hub.
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Routines are a great way to look after your mental health. Establishing a daily routine can improve our relationships, physical health, productivity, focus and they have been shown to reduce stress. Routines can also help us cope with change when life is uncertain.

Here are some daily habits that help me keep to a routine and look after my mental health:

1. Get a restful sleep each night

Sleep is a vital part of our physical and mental health. It is important that we maintain a similar routine each day for when we wake up and go to sleep. Cutting down on screen time and coffee or alcohol prior to sleep can make for a more restful night.

2. Eat well and eat healthy

Certain foods can affect your mental health. To support improved mental health, try expanding your current diet to include foods packed with mood boosting nutrients like:

  • berries and bananas
  • beans
  • whole grains
  • fatty fish, like salmon
  • Drinking plenty of water throughout the day can also have a benefit.

3. Cut back on social media

Our diet of news and social media is as important as our diet of food. Stay informed but not overloaded with news and social media.

To spend less time on social media try:

  • Keeping your phone outside the bedroom when sleeping or in a drawer when at home
  • Try reading a book rather than reading a screen
  • Turn off all notifications

4. Strengthen your relationships

Humans are social creatures, and strong relationships can have a positive influence on your mental health in various ways. Social interactions on a regular basis are great for making positive and important connections and providing emotional support.

5. Move your body on your own terms

Exercise is an import part of my daily routine. It helps to relieve stress, lift my mood and keep me relaxed. Exercise and movement can involve something different for each person. It’s important that it is enjoyable for you.

6. Know when to take it easy

On difficult days it might be challenging to keep to your routine. Instead of dwelling on it, or abandoning your routine altogether, adapt it to make it work for you. If you’re stressed or withdrawing from things you enjoy, go easy on yourself.

7. Make time for rest

While what constitutes “rest” may vary from person to person, it generally means giving your mind and body the opportunity to unwind and restore. Resting and being kind to yourself is an important part of your routine and good for your mental health.

These routines can help improve your mental well-being, but they can’t “cure” a mental health condition. Sometimes we need additional support. Remember support is available and the sooner you seek it out the better.

Why leave it there?

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