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Remote Support Series: Positive Self-Management Strategies
Particularly for participants living independently, there may be a need for assistance in developing and maintaining self-management skills to create consistency and stability during times when they may have previously been receiving paid support or out in their communities.
The following are some tips to developing self-management skills that can hopefully lead to increased regularity in daily routines (adapted from the Psychiatric Times) and maintenance of positive mental health.
Self-Management Strategies for Increasing Regularity of Daily Routines:
• Get up at the same time every day: a regular wake time is the most important input for stabilizing your body clock.
• Make sure you spend some time outdoors every day, especially in the early morning; your body clock is regulated by the light.
• If you can’t go outside, try to spend at least 2 hours by a window, looking into the daylight focusing on being calm.
• Exercise every day, ideally at the same time each day.
• Seek out “back and forth” social interactions to share thoughts and feelings with another person in real time.
• Avoid bright light (especially blue light) in the evening (e.g., computer screens, smartphones). Blue spectrum light suppresses the hormone that helps us sleep
Put these tips into practice by a) assisting the individual to assess what they are currently doing, what they could do right now, and what they could work into their routine later, b) identifying where the individual needs assistance or can work on or manage independently would also be important and c) regardless of the amount of assistance one needs, creating checklists to maintain healthy self-management routines as a means to review and monitor progress could also be considered.