I recently had some changes to things that ended my regular Monday and Thursday appointments. I'm working towards getting one new regular appointment set up, but that hasn't happened yet. What I'm finding now is this is affecting me worse than I thought it would. It's a break in my routine, and that has me a little discombobulated.
For me, a routine is kind of necessary. I have to set myself a time for everything or I forget things. On Monday, I started getting up earlier. Instead of rolling over and going back to sleep when I get Himself up, I'm getting up with him. It's rough but I'm managing it. But on Monday, because I changed my pattern I forgot to take both my morning and night doses of meds. I've started taking my pills after I get out of the shower in the morning because that's what I did when I took them at night. I've moved my daily shower up to the morning as well. With my meds, I haven't forgotten the rest of the week, though on Thursday I took them later than I've been doing it. I also thought it was Friday until I got the email notifications about my usual Thursday appointments. I had forgotten to take them off my calendar.
I fixed my calendar and then stared at the blank days. I use Google calendar so I can get email notifications when I have something coming up. I have a single appointment coming up this month. It's to meet the doctor who will handle my meds going forward. I don't have anything regular, though I'm making arrangements for that. In the mean time, my routine is going to be shaken up. I'm going to have to develop a new one until I can get things sorted out.
Those with mental illness need to find and maintain a routine, even if it's as simple as taking their meds at the same time every day. It helps reduce some of the stress. Over and over again during my hospitalizations and my counseling I've been urged to set up a routine. Find something that works and stick to it. For nine months I had one that worked for me. Now it has to change. And I don't like it. I like the familiar. I hate changing things. It always makes me feel flustered. I've also had a couple days of depression this week because things weren't going the same as they always have.
But routines aren't just for those with mental illnesses. How many of us have in our mind a mini-schedule of “My alarm goes off and I do A. Then I do B and C. Now I do D and then I'm off on my day.” I'm sure all of us have something similar to this. It seems to be a natural part of our world as it stands now. I don't know many people who don't wake up with some kind of ritual or loose schedule in their heads.
What about you? Do you have a routine? Does it bother you to deviate from it?