TEACCH Tip#10 – Scheduling Your Day to Limit Worry and Prioritize Self-Care
These days, it can be challenging to remain calm while being inundated with news. It is easy to feel overwhelmed, stuck, and anxious as we wait for updates and the latest information. The constant unknown or ever-changing news makes some people feel like they do not have any control in their life. Creating and following a schedule provides predictability and a sense of control. Scheduling your day can be a helpful way to circumvent getting stuck in front of the television and instead establish a balance of activities that support your self-care and mental well being.
This tip was written for a person who might be scheduling their own day but the same principles apply if a caregiver is scheduling another person’s day. For an individual who cannot read or write, you can try using pictures or simple drawings. Please refer to TEACCH Tips #1.
Try grabbing a sheet of paper and
- Pencil in your “have-to-do” activities such as showering, brushing your teeth, meals, etc. If you have work to complete, build in chunks of time for productivity to complete these tasks.
- Then, incorporate at least two to three times (activities) each day that you are investing in your mental and physical health. These might be movement activities such as taking a walk, riding a bike, or yoga and/or hobbies or high interest activities such as drawing, listening or playing music, writing, cooking, etc.,
- Next, decide on a few times during the day that you allow yourself to watch or read the news. Effectively, you are scheduling “worry time” so that it does not take over your entire day.
- Last, and certainly not least, many people find it helpful to schedule a time to practice of gratitude and identify one positive thing about the day.
- A schedule includes a balance of “have to do” activities (yellow post-it notes) as well as “like to do” (blue post-it notes) sometimes people like to use different colors to separate these activities as well as a balance of movement activities and quiet activities
- Have a way to mark off or indicate that an activity is complete. That sense of accomplishment gives one a sense of control over his/her life.
- When scheduling in “worry time” create a clear concept of finished. If watching the news, then select only one show or one station and if reading the news, then establish a set amount of time to read the newspaper or internet.
- Consider scheduling relaxation time each day. Please refer to TEACCH tips #2