Your Daily Occupation: Setting Your Future Self Up For Success
Occupational therapists are kind of nutty about schedules and routines. We study things in college like the Model of Human Occupation (Gary Kielhofner), and call it the MOHO. From MOHO, we know that people can be very comforted by following a personalized routine, and our daily rituals provide meaning. From brain science we know that, when daily activities become habituated, they take up less of our working memory and cognitive processing.
So when our routines are changed, we have to use more conscious thought and
cognitive processing to get through our day. This is science behind why everything is so HARD when you change your entire daily routine. It makes us think too much about normal things like whether or not we've taken the allergy pill and put on deodorant, which adds to mental fatigue and stress. From that framework, let's look at our routines:
What is working well with your new schedule?
What is going easily and supports you?
Personally, I've enjoyed having my whole family up around the same time of day, but not in a rush to leave the house. I have been having breakfast with my kids and leisurely talking about the day before I start work. That is definitely going well. What are possible areas for improvement?:
Are you eating nourishing foods?
Are you taking mental health breaks?
Is your technology working properly?
I keep having mouse failure and forgetting to eat. So this evening, I will locate another mouse and set it up. Then, I will preplan my food for tomorrow. This advance planning is crucial. So tomorrow while I'm busy putting out fires, I for sure won't be crawling under the desk to unplug my mouse and plug it back in. My future self thanks me. My future self is going to have more brain power to work with, because I don't have to use my limited resources to figure out what I'm going to eat.
Decide on one thing you can do this evening, which your future self will be thankful for.
And go ahead and do it.
About the Author
Melissa Christopher, OT/L is an Occupational Therapist with more than twenty years of experience and the founder of Stellar Therapy Services. Stellar Therapy Services provides therapy staffing solutions for school districts, home health facilities, hospitals, and many other settings needing Physical Therapists, Occupational Therapists, Speech Language Pathologists, and other therapy and healthcare professionals.