Clinical depression is the many-eyed monster that, among other things, makes it tough to get out of bed and prevents us from going about our daily business. But the thing is, having a routine is important if you want to deal with chronic depression.

 I know, I know, it isn’t easy. After all, depression brings with it the desire to take a mental health day or two and figure out ways to feel better.

But for those of us who suffer from long-term depression, taking a break from routine is actually counterproductive.

Here is why having a routine is the best way to deal with chronic depression:

It makes you feel better about yourself

Let’s face it – staying in bed all day and doing nothing doesn’t feel very good, does it? Sure, depression makes you want to do absolutely nothing, but there is a huge difference between feeling like doing nothing and actually doing nothing.

So while you are thinking about the best way to drown your sorrows, try to follow your daily routine as much as you can. Remember, making an effort and failing to do everything on your to-do list is much better than not trying at all.

It helps you feel in control

Bet you saw this coming, didn’t you? When you try and stick to your daily schedule, you are telling your depression that you are not letting it win. Accomplishing even one or two tasks of your daily schedule will help you feel in control of the situation. Even if it is something as small as having your meals on time, you will feel a sense of accomplishment and control.

The only caveat is that you should not beat yourself up when you are not able to get everything done as you had planned. It is important to notice small wins and pat yourself on the back for the same. Keep your expectations low and you will be surprised at how much you can get done despite your debilitating illness.

It brings you closer to recovery

When you feel better about yourself and in control of your life, it is a given that you are on the road to recovery, isn’t it? By conquering your urge to stay in bed all day and doing your best to keep a regular routine, you are letting your mind know that ultimately, it wins over depression.

On the other hand, if you stay in bed, your mind will be busy berating yourself for not being able to function like normal people. You will feel like depression runs you and once you feel this way, you will tend to give in more and more to your depressive tendencies. Thus, the small act of breaking away from routine will make it harder for you to recover from depression.

These are the reasons why I believe routine is crucial to deal with depression. However, if you find yourself unable to establish one, be sure to consult a mental health professional.