How Schedule and Structure Can Help With Depression

Living with depression can be extremely hard. Depression can make even the simplest of activities difficult to accomplish, can take the joy out of things that you used to find enjoyable and can make it really hard to manage your time since you don’t have the motivation to get anything done. Some people who struggle with depression find that having a schedule helps them get through the day while helping them accomplish the things they must get done.

Getting Started With Structure

Getting out of bed can be a difficult task when you’re struggling with depression. After waking up, you think about all that needs to be done that day—chores, work, school—and it all seems so overwhelming. Instead of getting up to face the day, you roll back over and go back to sleep and before you know it, hours, days, weeks, months and even years have passed without you really being present in your everyday life.

Journal planning schedule structure teen depression

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Adding structure can help you regain a sense of control, something that often gets lost during depression. The key to adding structure to your life when you are depressed is to start with small, accomplishable tasks so you don’t feel overwhelmed.

If your goal is to clean your room, start by making your bed first thing in the morning every day for a week. If you need to catch up on schoolwork, try breaking up your work into 15 minute segments, taking an hour long break between each one.

The Benefits of a Schedule

Now that your life has a bit of structure to it and you’re beginning to feel accomplished, try making a daily schedule. Schedules can help when you’re feeling depressed because you don’t have to spend your energy prioritizing tasks; that’s already been done. All you have to do is look at the routine you made for yourself and follow it.

Everyone’s routine is slightly different, but having set times to wake up, do chores, work on homework and eat dinner every day will help you get things accomplished. A realistic schedule will help prevent you from being overwhelmed while helping you feel accomplished at the end of every day. Don’t forget to schedule time for self-care as well! It’s important to make time in your schedule for journaling, attending therapy, getting some fresh air and relaxing.

Look for the Patterns

After you’ve been following your schedule for a few weeks, you may start to notice some patterns. For example, you may find that you always seem to be depressed before meal times, or that you always feel better after getting some fresh air. Once recognized, you can make a plan for how to deal with the rough parts of your day, or you can add the activities that make you feel better into your coping toolbox.

It can be difficult to get things done if you don’t have any structure in your life. If you’re struggling with depression, creating a schedule may help you get things done, feel more accomplished and feel better about yourself.

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