Mind Over Madness: Tip # 1 Set a Daily Routine

As humans, we are creatures of habit. Even though we don’t realize it; we crave routine and consistency.

They keep us from becoming overwhelmed.

They remind us of the things we need to accomplish.

They help us use our time wisely.

They allow us to know what to expect from everyday. (That is especially helpful when we are quarantined at home and the days start to run together.) 

They help boost mood and productivity.

They give you confidence about your day, your abilities, and how you spend your time.

So, how do you stick to a routine? 

Write it down.

Have some fun with it. (I’ve added activities at the bottom of this post to help you get creative in making your daily routine.) 

The specifics of what activities you decide to do will vary depending on what you choose from day to day, but the schedule for the times that you allow for yourself to engage in those activities should essentially stay the same. 

Use your routine to help you plan ahead for things like what you will make for dinner. Spend some time sitting down and planning what meals you will cook for the week and then build in the time to cook those meals. This helps you to not feel rushed and/or overwhelmed. 

Also, remember to allow flexibility in your schedule. Things change and life happens. If you get a couple weeks into the routine you initially make and it’s not working for you, redo it. If you oversleep one morning, no big deal. You want to try and keep as consistent a routine as possible but it doesn’t have to be perfect.  Allow yourself time in the mornings to wake up, sit on the porch, drink some coffee and enjoy the quiet.

Many people argue that routines and schedules feel confining, but they don’t have to be. Allow time in your routine to be mindful and be present. Draw nourishment from your routine instead of letting the daily rush drain your energy. 

NOW YOU TRY!

Activity:

Materials needed: white paper, markers or crayons or colored pencils,a ruler or something to help draw a straight edge, stickers, glitter, anything else you may want to use to decorate your daily routine chart. 

  1. Use a straightedge to draw lines for your routine chart. Make sure to include 6 columns across. 1 to write the time of day in and 5 to write the day of the week in. Also make sure to leave space at the top of the paper for the heading. 

2. Then, use markers, tape, glitter glue, etc. To add a bit of decoration to the lines you drew.I had washi tape around the house from previous projects so I used that. 

3. Next, use markers, crayons, or colored pencils to draw a heading, add in times and activities as well as days of the week. Be creative with this and have fun!

4. Now, finish off your creation by adding some stickers, paint, glitter, ect. To give your daily routine schedule some flare. Make sure to either check off or mark off with a sticker each activity as you go through your routine for the day. 

Adaptations and ages: 

For school-aged children: 

Have the participant sit with you and complete this activity together. Think about the important activities that they would normally be doing if they were not stuck at home and put them in order of what time in the day they should happen. Consider things like school time, meals, snacks, outside time, and Nap time. Also consider scheduling screen time in an effort to encourage them to choose other activities throughout the day. You can also put the ESP virtual programs in your daily routine schedule. Allow your participant to have input on what their schedule looks like. Also, remember that you are on no one else’s timeline. Your routine can be whatever works best for you and your participant. Make sure to include a few columns and rows beside each of your routine activities and put a sticker in the box beside each activity for the day to check it off and help keep you on track.

For Participants who have aged out of school: 

Have the participant sit with you and complete this activity together. Think about the important activities that they would normally be doing if they were not stuck at home and put them in order of what time in the day they should happen. Consider things like meals, snacks, exercise, screen time, waking and sleeping times, and chores. Also consider some of the other activities your participant enjoys and try to include them in your daily routine (for example: reading time). 

You can also put the ESP virtual programs in your daily routine schedule. Allow your participant to have input on what their schedule looks like. Also, remember that you are on no one else’s timeline. Your routine can be whatever works best for you and your participant. Make sure to include a few columns and rows beside each of your routine activities and put a sticker in the box beside each activity for the day to check it off and help keep you on track.

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