A routine can help manage an anxiety disorder, but it can also hurt. Here’s how I’ve come to find balance.

Living with an anxiety disorder for a large part of my life, I have been forced to structure my life in a certain way in order to manage my day-to-day and minimize the affects of my anxiety. My routine has been a blessing. It has also become the bane of my existence at times. Finding a balance between the two sides of routine can be tough. Here are some pieces of advice I can offer from my experience.

Calming my anxiety by creating structure: Having my day broken down and detailed piece by piece helps me to get started each day, even on super anxious days. The structure it creates carries me throughout the entire day knowing exactly what is ahead of me, and what is coming around the corner. Time is a huge part of my routine. I start each day at the same time every morning. I have the same morning breakfast each day, I shower and get ready at the same time, I leave the house for my commute at the same time, and I structure my work day in two hour blocks to manage production. I leave work at the same time, arrive home and make sure to have dinner at the same time each day. In between there are a bunch of little items entered into my routine, some good, some bad, but I stick to it, each day. Everyone will have a different structure to their day, this is what works for me.

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