A “365 days of” project is a huge commitment. And it always screamed “routine” to me. For those that know me, it’s something that I’d never try doing because all my life I’ve ran away from routine: no 9 to 5s, just random work as a self employed graphic designer, no sleep schedule, no eating schedule, nothing. The only routines I’ve ever had is the way I wash my hair and always making and drinking coffee before I proceed to start my morning.
And routine is something most people seem to run away from. It’s associated with being dull, repetitive, unsatisfying, yet we’re all so wrong about it. My mental health has declined in the past years because of the lack of routine. What started off as complete freedom and daily novelty and adrenaline slowly turned into asking myself every hour “so what’s the plan?”, overthinking, constantly pondering the uncertainty of tomorrow, being anxious, insomnia and feeling like I don’t have time for anything.
Researchers say that a routine is one of the first steps in trying to improve someone’s mental health. Building a routine is suggested to many patients going through CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Activity). The more routines we have, the fewer things we have to worry about and also, the more time we have since we can easily plan out the day knowing the routines we have.
When it comes to a “365 days of” challenge, whether it’s “365 days of photography”, “365 days of drawing”, “365 days of writing” and so many other options, we do have to take in consideration that repetition is also the key to improvement, which means that not only you have opportunity to improve one of your skills, but since you’ll be fighting the routine, you will end up experimenting and possibly finding methods/mediums/ways you’ve never thought of using.
So why am I starting this challenge?
- Because I know that setting a routine will improve my mental health.
- Because writing has always been the best way for me to calm down the storm inside my brain because it forces me to sort through the loudness and the thoughts and actually understand all the concepts and worries of my overthinking brain.
- Because writing is the earliest passion I recall having. Back when I was 8-9 years old, before obsessing over art and illustration, I was dreaming of becoming a writer. (I was actually daydreaming about possibly become the next big playwright in my Shakespearian dreams).
- Because although I know there’ll be many days where I’ll want to quit, if I do manage to reach the end I will be incredibly proud of myself!
- Because it will help me move beyond instant gratification and it will teach me patience and commitment again.
- Because I will have to teach myself some self discipline.
And of course, because I know it’s what I feel I have to do to improve myself, especially mentally.
Day 1/365 done,
See you tomorrow!