Talking today about the four things I try to keep an eye on and a routine with because I know doing so will help keep me level. Those four things are:
Diet: Not diet-ing, just what I eat. I hate salad (not all salad just can’t eat it too frequently because it’s boring and doesn’t fill me up) and I’ve tried things like clean eating in the past and it just bores me to death having to watch what I eat. I also find when I want to reach for my comfort foods and can’t that I’m basically asking for trouble. In light of this, my new and ideal diet is eating the foods I love cooked the healthiest way they can be. Fresh ingredients, cooked from scratch and as little artificially-laden crap as possible (I hate a soft spot for sweet stuff). I also stick to gluten-free pasta and bread. I do not have an intolerance, gluten-free is just WAY more digestible. It does not bloat me, tire me out, or make me feel sluggish. Win.
Exercise: I exercise 6/7 times a week. Ideally 3 of those sessions at 30min or more and the rest at 15mins+. I do HIIT and flit between weight training, cardio and yoga/pilates. I use YouTube channels to keep me interested as there’s a load of different exercise channels to try and I get bored of routine super easy. I do only things that I enjoy and nothing that stresses my shoulders/back or knees too much as they’re fussy. This not only helps me keep a balance on my mood but helps me to sleep better, which I REALLY struggle with.
Sleep: As I said, I struggle here. I’m a night owl and get into ridiculous sleep cycles that make me feel worse than zombie (like waking every night for 3 weeks at 3am, or 3 and 5am or waking at 5am and waking every half hour from then on – it takes a toll). Exercise is all that helps this, it doesn’t make me go to sleep earlier but I find it makes the sleep I get deeper and more beneficial.
Time Alone: You all know that everyone needs time alone, even those who love being around people. But for introverts who have to recharge or the socially anxious it’s a MUST. I find that learning to say ‘no’ and take time when I need it has helped the most. Sometimes you’ve got to be firm!
Those are my four major levellers. If I keep my eye on those and keep those routines as best I can, then I’m better able to manage my cyclothymia and depressions, especially if/when life is being uncooperative!
Fitness channels I’m particularly fond of (feel free to add your favourites!):