Helping Manage Schizophrenia with a Routine
Schizophrenia and routines are good partners. As someone with schizophrenia and generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), my mind can often feel chaotic. I might simultaneously experience olfactory hallucinations (smells), paranoia, and cycling thoughts about worst-case scenarios or other symptoms. These symptoms leave little space in my brain for health and wellbeing. That is why when I am at home, I follow a routine to add order and a sense of safety. Routines can give us a feeling that we have something we can count on when we have schizophrenia. They can also offer structure that can help with feeling out of control.
Routines in Schizophrenia Bring Safety
I plan most of my day, but not everyone wants to do that. However, planning small steps to establish a routine can help bring order to the chaos that schizophrenia symptoms can create. In the following video, I discuss a few small things that may help bring a sense of safety and order to a symptomatic day.
Besides what I mention in the video, I also make my bed every morning when I get up. I brush and floss my teeth when I wake up and before sleep. Many days I do a routine of stretches and breath work to try and release the tension that anxiety generates in my body. I try to go to sleep at about the same time every night. I try to finish my part-time work before my husband gets home so I can spend the evening with him. As a couple, my husband and I ask each other over dinner every night the best things that happened that day, and we play a word game we like before settling in to watch an episode or two of a television show we like that doesn't include violence and is not frightening or too suspenseful.
My Schizophrenia-Related Routine Involves My Meals
I often eat the same things most days of the week. I eat yogurt and banana for breakfast, high-fiber toast as a mid-morning snack, salad and a piece of fruit for lunch, vegetables, and usually a bean dish, pasta, or rice for dinner. I also have two oatmeal cookies as dessert and a snack while watching television before bed. Following this level of routine makes life less complicated for me, and I'm willing to do anything I can to create more ease in my life.
My routines make up most of my day and evening, and I understand that many people would get bored with that level of repetition, but routines help my schizophrenia by giving me something to count on.
Chamaa, R. (2023, June 28). Helping Manage Schizophrenia with a Routine, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2023, November 29 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/creativeschizophrenia/2023/6/helping-manage-schizophrenia-with-a-routine