Routine Timing vs Routine Doing

For the past two weeks, I’ve been on a downswing. Several years ago, I was diagnosed with clinical depression and anxiety, and I’ve struggled to keep it under control. Of all the things I’ve tried in the past, exercise is the most effective treatment I’ve found. I’m not anti-medication, but I never really found a med that worked for me. I was on medication, then my doc put me on a higher dose of that med, then he added something else to help increase the efficacy of the original med, and that’s not to mention the side effects of both.

Anyway, in 2021 I started exercising regularly (about an hour per day but at least 30 minutes per day) by running with some weight training, yoga, mindful cooldowns, etc., and it’s kept the proverbial demons away until two weeks ago. I’ve slipped into a pretty deep depression, at least deep for this point in my mental health struggle; I’ve had months where I could barely get out of bed and some days where I couldn’t, but I was terrified of falling back into the pit and sliding back to the old habits and bad routines I’ve had for years. For the last week or so, if I didn’t get up at my usual time and make all my standard patterns, I let it throw off my entire day. This morning I realized that it doesn’t matter when I do them; the only thing that matters is that I *do* them. It’s been tough for me to wake up at my usual time, and I overslept this morning, but instead of pushing my morning run to the afternoon, when I’m very likely not to do it, I stepped out a bit later, but I got my run in any way. I’m ecstatic about making this “discovery,” and it makes me realize that I can dig myself out of this funk and get back on track.

I’m writing this to remind myself, and hopefully, it will click with someone else like it did for me.





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