Scheduling and planning is a large part of someone learning to cope with their mental health disorders or recovery from addiction. While the support of professionals can help each person understand and structure their days, the ability to create one’s own schedule can help them not just continue with important self-care management, but also continue to explore their own identity outside of recovery. Knowing why scheduling is important can help each person continue on the path towards their own autonomous goals, while simultaneously ensuring that each person is practicing their own life skills each day.
The Point to Keeping a Schedule
Each person will undergo massive amounts of changes from their time going to recovery to reintroduction and self-sustained living. Emotions may constantly be in flux and someone’s perceptions may continue to change with each new step they take in their recovery and in their lives beyond the recovery bubble. Keeping a consistent schedule is a way to try to address those constant changes by making the world at least a little bit more predictable.
Schedules incorporate more than just one or two things; rather, they can be as detailed as someone needs them to be in order for them to stay focused or avoid otherwise dangerous situations. Simple things like having a consistent time to get up in the morning and a time to get to bed at night all play into a needed sense of stability that keeping a schedule can provide. The more predictable a day may look on paper, the more control each person can feel they have over their own day, and thus their lives.
Schedules also provide each person with a way to visualize upcoming stressors or anxieties. This can either help someone prepare their day in a way that they ensure that they have enough time for self-care, or an escape plan if anxieties begin to build too much. Visualizing in this way also can help a person recognize patterns in their own emotional state, as they can begin seeing a certain place or time and realizing that they are constantly worried about it for one reason or another. Schedules are a way to distance oneself from their internal emotions and thus try to gain a bit more agency over their mental health by visualizing these stresses on paper and preparing for them.
Lastly, it can help someone see how they are balancing their lives. Looking over their own schedule for a day, or a week, at a time can help them empirically gauge how much time they are providing themselves for self-care, compared to how long they are spending working or attending outpatient or aftercare meetings.
Even helping to measure how much sleep someone is getting can be beneficial, as often people aren’t able to put a definitive number of hours to many of these things. Being able to visualize one’s day ahead of time can ensure that they are balancing their lives in a way that is healthy for them and their continued healthy living.
It’s All Yours
As someone begins to understand the reasons behind keeping a schedule, they can personalize and adjust it to their own particular needs. It isn’t something that is created for other people, it is something that is wholly one’s own. If someone realizes that they need more sleep in order to feel better, they have the agency to change that part of their schedule. While too many constant changes can undermine the point of a schedule in the first place, informed and deliberate changes can help someone achieve the agency they need to continue being productive towards their goals.
There Are More Skills Involved Than There May Seem
While creating a schedule for oneself may seem simple at first, there are a lot of life skills that are practiced without even realizing it. Time management, self-care, work-life balance, agency, and managing expectations all go into creating an effective schedule. These skills are also important employment skills, as someone who can manage and structure their own days is already exhibiting a great amount of agency and forward-thinking that is needed for many occupations, regardless of one’s particular career field of interest. Creating a schedule is something that someone can do for themselves to ensure that they are staying healthy and focused, all while continuing to practice essential life skills at the same time.
There are any number of huge changes from the beginning of recovery to re-establishing one’s own agency in their lives. However, being able to add just a bit of structure to the chaos can help each person realize how much control they have over their addiction, their mental health disorder, and their lives as a whole. Life may never be entirely without entropy, but visualizing all the things that someone is effectively managing can come with a deserved sense of pride needed to keep wanting to take the next step.
Reestablishing your own agency is a difficult process, but is always achievable with the right skills and support systems in place. If you are needing that extra push to establish the skills important for your own, self-sufficient living, LifeTutors has a program to help. With a personalized take on your specific situation and a boots-on-the-ground approach to helping each person, LifeTutors can work with you to find the right coping mechanisms, life skills, and even goals in order to help you continue to strive towards the future that you want to make for yourself. With recovery and life coaching programs, as well as college advising and family coaching services available, LifeTutors can help you with your unique situation and help you develop the right roadmap for your own progress. For more information on how Lifetutors can help you, call today at (828) 417-7122.