As many of you know, I struggle with a lack of motivation, and I’m not a big fan of self-help or pop psychology to deal with this issue. I have found a morning and bedtime routine that helps me so much, though, and the whole thing would probably fall under the categories of self-care or pop psychology. I find this amazing because I normally stick to psychiatry as a way of dealing with my symptoms.
I bought seven books ( I will list them at the end of this post) all designed either to increase productivity, increase happiness, or to increase creativity. Each of them is available on Amazon.
Every morning, I work through one exercise in each of the six books, and then I do one book before bed. I recently added a color meditation to my morning routine where I sketch a color picture for 15-30 minutes a day as well.
The progress I have made in productivity and generating ideas for writing is significant. It used to be on a bad day, or low productivity day I wouldn’t get anything done. I would spend the whole day watching news and scrolling through social media with a little reading of essays and blogs thrown in. Now, even if I have a low productivity day, I can tell myself at least I did a sketch, a writing exercise, and six happiness/productivity exercises.
It isn’t much to brag about regarding accomplishing something, but the exercises do make me happier. So many of the exercises are about generating gratitude lists, thinking about things you enjoy, listing your favorite foods, or scents, etc. All these things get me to think about things that are positive. I rarely think about schizophrenia while I am doing my exercises. And each night I go to bed on a happy note having filled out the page about how my day was epic (it is an epic journal).
I am trying so hard to get my life on track and be a productive and contributing member of society as well as experience as few symptoms as possible. The only other thing I have added to my day is taking two to three short walks outside. I read a study that people who left their technology at home and took a walk every day making an effort to notice the trees, the houses, the birds, the flowers, etc. showed a significant and verifiable increase in their well being. So far, I use the time to call family members, so I am getting the exercise and the fresh air but not the benefit of noticing my surroundings (I’m working on it!)
Below is a list of the books I am using in this experiment. My new routine takes commitment to try to overcome symptoms and live a more productive life. For someone like me who lacks motivation, this seems like an impossible task, but honestly, after doing it for a month, I wouldn’t give it up. It makes a huge difference in my attitude, my wellness, and my days. I’m not giving up my medication or my doctors, but I might need less help managing my anxiety and other symptoms.
642 Things to Write About
Life by Design: 52 Lists, Questions, and Inspirations for Finding Your Happiness
How to be Happy (or at Least Less Sad)
52 Lists for Happiness
Start Where You Are: A Journal for Self-Exploration
Every Day is Epic