Organise your day
Organising your day can give you a sense of satisfaction, as well as keeping you feeling grounded and structured. Sometimes even getting out of bed seems impossible, let alone making it through a busy day. Breaking things down into smaller steps can help things seem less intimidating, and possibly build a routine that can help you manage symptoms, such as from depression or anxiety. Some people like to use lists or bullet journals as a way of focussing on or visualising the things you need to do, either every day or as a one off. It can feel really rewarding to keep track of what you have achieved in this way.
It is okay if you don’t manage to stick to your to-do list. It is very normal to not complete everything you want to in a day. If the only thing you were able to do was to get through the day, that is a great accomplishment. Remember to take consideration of your ‘spoons’ (energy levels) and to reward yourself with treats or things you enjoy.
Selena, one of the Centre's Young Champions, has written the blog Organising myself for self-care about how organising her day helps her manage her wellbeing.
What young people have told us:
'I think writing a task down really helps to put into perspective what you have to do.'
'Writing a list and organising yourself will help to prevent stress. Especially for school years. I like to write all of the big things I have to complete on a piece of paper and it makes them feel so much smaller. Also its nice to look at a list and go 'its not that bad, its only 4 things that I need to do'.
'Often if I feel overwhelmed it helps to see what I have completed but also that the seemingly impossible tasks actually have an end. Also I often tend to assume i have failed or am failing and so having a list helps to see what I have done.'
'Because it helps me to see clearly what I have to do in the day and stops me from worrying about it inside my mind.'
'Don't set too many tasks to complete and set a time limit for them if you struggle to fit much in your day.'
'It helps me to structure my day and see what I have to complete. This means that I can feel in control of my day and helps me to feel less stressed.'
'I think it really helps to make a to-do list for each day, so I know what I have to do and I feel more in control of how I spend my time. This makes me feel less stressed as I know what I need to achieve and can break it down into manageable tasks which makes them seem less daunting.'
There isn’t much academic research in the area of self-care for young people who are living with mental health issues. We are trying to find out more about what works for different people so we can better advise other young people what to try.
If you’ve tried this activity when you were struggling in relation to your mental health, please let us know if it helped you and how by clicking on the ‘Did this activity help you’ button.