Eat. Exercise. Sleep.

These are the three most important things for me to do. They’re obviously important for everyone, but they’re really important for me.

When I do poorly in any one of these, things get unbalanced, when things get unbalanced I don’t think clearly, when I don’t think clearly it leads to… “bad news.” The bad news I speak of is a manic episode that leads to hospitalization (at a [psychiatric hospital]). Now I’ve only had this happen three times and the last time was five years ago, but trust me, once is enough to make you ultra paranoid about not letting it happen again.

Right now I’m only doing a good job in of one out of my three necessities and that’s just unacceptable. Even doing two out of three is bad, so one out of three is terrible. First, the one I’m taking care of.

Sleep

It’s very rare that I allow myself to slip up in the sleep domain. The reason being is that it’s the domain that is probably the main instigator for a path leading to hospital. I don’t need much sleep. A full night’s sleep is usually about 6 hours for me and a lot of days I’ll only sleep 4 or 5. What happens is I’ll have a night when I might sleep only about 2 or 3 hours, followed by another night of 2 or 3, then I start to feel like “Hey, I don’t really need any sleep!” and I’ll keep that up. Working extra hard on stuff, mind going fast, not sleeping, until I wake up one day in the hospital. šŸ˜›

I’m SUPER aware of that now, so I don’t worry about it too much, but this is the major linchpin in keeping me together. I think after sleep goes, eating goes (because I don’t think about it). Exercise won’t even get a chance to go…

Eat

This is the second most important thing. It’s really easy for me to go all day and not eat (especially when I’m wrapped up in working on something). It’s REALLY REALLY easy for me to go all day and not eat (or eat right) when I’m not going grocery shopping and keeping a good stock of food in the house (which is what has been going on for the past two weeks). Then I end up eating fast food here and there and never really eating good, thus my mind doesn’t function good. What also happens when I’m not eating right is I cut out exercising (which, surprise surprise, I haven’t done for about 2 weeks).

Exercise

Exercise isn’t so important in terms of a clear mind (but it certainly helps a lot). What daily exercise does is help with motivation. When I’m exercising regularly, I keep the house tidy, get laundry done, etc. It’s also exercise that keeps me on point about going grocery shopping. The reason it keeps me on point about grocery shopping is because I know that I’m not going to exercise when the food runs out (and when I’m exercising it feels really good and I don’t want to stop). Exercise is also a main component in keeping my mood stable. I pretty much only get depressed/anxiety when I’m not exercising regularly.

Meditation

I’ll throw this one in here too. Meditation is probably the first thing to go when I’m not on top of things. It’s a somewhat new addition to my routine, but as soon as something slips a little bit I stop meditating. I guess this could be a good measure for how on top of things I am. An AWESOME morning looks like this:

  • Wake up
  • Go run
  • Make oatmeal
  • Shower
  • Meditate
  • Eat cooled off oatmeal

Just looking at the list makes me miss the last time I had a morning like that. My mornings have been pretty bogus lately.

  • Wake up
  • Mess around on the computer
  • Shower
  • Leave

Today wasn’t so bad, since I got a run in and made some oatmeal. I’m going to get grocery shopping and laundry done today as well. Lets see if I can have an awesome morning tomorrow. There’s no reason I shouldn’t be able to…

Note: The mediation I do is [Transcendental Meditation]. I’ll have to do a blog post about it one of these days…

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9 Responses to Eat. Exercise. Sleep.

  1. ashep24 says:

    Don’t discredit the importance of exercise on keeping a clear mind. All that extra oxygen to the brain does wonders for your ability to focus and remain calm!

    Sincerely,
    -Adam

  2. molinabz says:

    Hmmm… totally not good. I am glad you are well aware of your daily life and pushing to make change again.
    Keep in mind that with good sleep, routine exercise, and a balanced diet, it allows for a clearer mind and a healthier life. Make sure you keep it up or else I might just have to go back and cook daily for you again! šŸ˜›

  3. Chris says:

    Yup, I need to get back to AM meditation, too. And oatmeal. Mmmm… Good call – thanks for the reminder.

  4. kevin says:

    There’s also evidence that aerobic exercise can make you A) happier, and B) smarter, which both seem like good reasons to do it. And solid evidence that meditation makes you happier. That’s usually the first thing to go for me, as well.

  5. Magdalicious says:

    It’s funny, I wonder if it true for all people… that things like meditation and exercise are the first to slip? Or if it’s just the influence of reading it all laid out nice and like that like? But either way it’s interesting, now I want to write out my pattern and then mold it to the awesome.

  6. BillTownKid says:

    Eating, so much more than functional. Even if you’re busy, I have found that Jacque Pepin’s “Fast Food My Way” was the magic combination of elegant, delicious food that was uncomplicated to prepare in 30 minutes or less. Became something I really looked forward to because the results were so good-tasting, and good for me. And you know your lady will love it, too! šŸ˜‰

  7. miltownmom says:

    I had my suspicions……I hope you get back on track soon. Glad you recognized the slip.

  8. kevin says:

    ā€œA recent long-range study of severely depressed patients divided them into three groups. One group received medication only, another, medication and exercise, and the third, exercise only. Results indicated that medication or exercise can be equally effective and the relapse rate is less with exercise.ā€
    http://tinyurl.com/6huath

  9. Eugene says:

    Now everyone is talking about the American economy and eclections, nice to read something different. Eugene

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