1. "There's No Need To Be Perfect"
Yes, we all know, there’s no need to be perfect. What people don’t know is, that even though I see that all my friends are trying their best, I’m just lazy and I don’t try my best and I could be way better than the version I am right now. If I would only add 5min here and 15min there every day, time I would have if I’d only spend less time on Social Media, I would be SO much better. I know I don’t need to be perfect, but I’d need to do better, that’s the least I could do.
All valid points I tell myself there but still, so not true. Expecting myself to do it all, every day just isn’t realistic and only lead to a feeling of constant failure. For me the very first step to build a routine that was sustainable, was to accept that there is absolutely no need to be perfect and to do ALL of my routine, every, single, day (by the way a reason why I’m not the biggest fan of daily trackers in my Bullet Journal).
I only started to see this when I made an “Emergency List” for when I was depressed. A list where I’ve put tools on it that helped me through the day and gentle productivity point to do if I felt ready for it. Having this really gentle list helped me to build a sustainable routine to bring me through a depressive phase, where I by now fall back on naturally and don't really have to think about it anymore.
Trying to have a "Master Routine", I realised wasn't just unrealistic, it made my routine also really small. From all the tools out there that could help me, there aren't enough hours in the day to implement them all. Having a few small routines to fall back on, on different productivity levels, made it possible to build on slowly but steadily.
Having a few points to fall back on when building, reflecting and implement gentle changes to my routine, helped me to build many small routines that bring me through various days that life will throw at me.
1. There is no “Master Routine”
Unfortunately, there is no single master routine for me, that I can fall back on and everything is going back to normal in my life and I feel like I can manage it all. Having a few small routines for the many different productivity level we have each day, helps to manifest your tools in a more sustainable way to fall back on naturally in the future.
2. If your day is messy, your routine might be messy too
It’s okay to only use distraction tools on messy days, even if this messy day turns into messy weeks. It’s okay if the only tools you’re using are your emergency distraction tools like watching TV and crying. Learning to not feel guilty is hard so you could always give yourself a time limit of a few days to stay in bed and only after rechecking with yourself start implementing gentle productivity tools like getting up or taking a shower.
3. Be patient with yourself
I know the feeling of wanting to change a big thing in my life to then get a big change instead of feeling like doing only small things to hope for change somewhere in the future. Progress isn’t linear, this is something I need to tell myself a lot. There are more times where I feel like I’m stuck but then there are the months where I feel like I take leaps. Even though I’m still learning to be patient with myself, I see the progress I made there and how much this progress helped me in so many other ways too.
This is the first Blog Post to a three parts series on “How To Build A Sustainable Routine”. Sharing anything about my mental health journey still makes me incredibly nervous. I’m not in anyways trained in psychology and I’m not a mental health coach. This is just me, sharing my input.
I'm looking forward to be sharing more with you in the next few days.
All the best,