Aurors for the win.
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Godric's Hollow
I actually have a cleaning and laundry schedule also lol.
Routines are really important for me personally. So I have routines for just about everything. But what works for other people might be different because I can also see having routines as being potentially overwhelming and thus caveat here that by no means am I suggesting everyone do the things that I do! Just sharing how I found things that worked for me.
Weekly stabbing isn't a typo lol. I'm on hormones and it is an injection but injection is a terrifying word and I also literally stab myself with a needle, so thus referred to as "weekly stabbing" since I do it once a week. It is important to do it on the same day every week so that your levels stay more stable and it is something that for a long time I really struggled to do on the correct day or at all regularly. But it is a prescription medication so important to do/take correctly. :P
As far as how I started with routines, this might get long so I'll put it under a hide for those who don't care.
The following content has been hidden - Reason : very long
I basically just sat down one day and wrote out a list of ALL the things I wanted to have as routines, no matter how small of things. So for me it was things like, brush my teeth, floss, change socks, change clothes, wash hair, shave, wash my sheets, sweep the floor, go grocery shopping, etc.. Once that part of the list was made, I wrote out how often I wanted to do those things. So, brush teeth twice a day, change socks once a day, wash hair twice a week, sweep floor once a week, go grocery shopping once a week, clean dog crate once a month, and so on. Then I broke the list up into 3 groups- for me my types are: bathroom/hygiene, cleaning, and errands. After I had everything in a group, then I went through the list and picked one thing from the list I wanted to try to work on - this can either be something that is high priority or can just be something you feel like you can handle working on. For me for example, it's a lot easier to incorporate stuff into my nighttime routine as I am not rushed before bed than my morning routines, where I am often really rushed. So I started with brushing my teeth at night.
For stuff like cleaning and laundry, I set up a weekly rotation and I keep a list of that. I also schedule cleaning in my planner. One week I wash the bathroom rugs and clean the bathroom, another week I clean the dog's crate, another week I wash our blankets, blah blah blah. I have free laundry in my apartment though, so I can realise that might not be so simple for everyone if it costs money or requires going elsewhere for something like that. I like cleaning so this is pretty easy for me, but I know most people don't like cleaning.
For errands I pick a day to do them each week and put the time in my planner. I also try to have a backup day in mind for if my schedule changes where I can fit it in if need be. So for example I always go grocery shopping on Wednesdays, but if my Wednesday has something else planned I try to find a time to go on Tuesdays instead. Even if I only need one thing that week, I still make sure I go because for me it's really easy to get overwhelmed and panic about going someplace again if I stop going regularly. I try to pick something nice to reward myself with after, like snuggling with my dog or stopping for a nice coffee.
Hygiene/bathroom stuff is really the hardest for me to do easily so that's been my big focus and where I've had to put the most effort in. That's why the majority of stuff I have in my routines that I've had to work on is related to that. To tackle this, I stuck one of those little whiteboards and fun color dry erase markers up on the wall in my bathroom to make a modified sticker chart. (I don't have people over often but the only comments I've gotten about this are that it looks really helpful!) I picked a whiteboard that has each day of the week written out in a little section. Then I took a pen and drew a line on each day so I have a morning and evening section. After I picked my first thing to work on - brushing my teeth at night, I wrote it out on my whiteboard under each day. (Note that since my weekly stabbing is not optional, I included that also). I decided how many days I wanted to aim for as well. So while I wrote "brush teeth" under every evening, when I first started my goal was to aim for five evenings a week. If I did it that evening, I put a little checkmark next to it with the dry erase marker. If I did it five times a week, I put a little star in a corner of the whiteboard and started over. If I didn't hit five times in a week, I lost all my stars. Once I hit 4 stars (so a month's worth) I go back to zero, I reward myself, and I also have to pick something new to add in to my routine. If something is meant to be done multiple times a day (like teeth), I pick one time to start with that sounds easier to do. I don't try to add both at once.
So I've been doing things this way for maybe 6-7 months now and I've found it really helpful. It's how I incorporated so many things that I have the feeling for neurotypical, non mentally ill folks are not difficult but are things that I've struggled with for years. I don't forget to do things because they're literally on the wall next to my bathroom mirror. I don't worry about forgetting to do them because they're written down lol. Plus I get a nice little tick mark and stars when I've done them which for me is super pleasing and super motivating lol. Especially once I have 2-3 stars, I don't want to start all over again so that motivates me to keep going. It's definitely slow progress, but slow progress is still progress. :)
But yea, so I've basically had the hardest time with washing my hair and I've not been able to consistently do that one multiple weeks in a row. So that's the one I'm really focusing on right now. :P
Plus trying to get to bed not at a ridiculous time lol.