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A Disciplined life. Friday October 25, 2013

We have all sorts of rules for ourselves, don't we? Having some kind of structure in our lives helps us to make sense of things. Human Beings need certainty and a schedule or certain rules we live by help us to create that certainty.

One of my rules is to get enough sleep. This is particularly important to me as, being bi-polar, in my high energy "up" times it is very easy indeed to get by on less and less sleep, with the inevitable result that the corresponding "down" is even deeper as my body presents the invoice for all those lost hours.

Another rule I have is not to teach my classes on two successive days. The workshops I run are emotionally intensive – both for me and for the clients, so two days back to back is exhausting.

I've broken both these rules this week, and so today I'm conscious of a jagged edge of exhaustion threatening my mood. I have clients tonight too, so I'm going to make sure I honour one of my other rules: only work for two parts of the day.

This means that as soon as I stop writing this I shut down the computer, make a cup of tea and do something relaxing – even if that ends up doing the ironing. The point is, it's not work – it's recharging time.

A friend of mine even has a little chart she fills in every day, as an addition to the Moodscope score. It records whether she had enough sleep, if she meditated, if she has any worries about specific things, whether her husband is away and so on. At the bottom of the chart is a big box for "conclusions". I don't think I'm organised enough to fill that in every day, but I can see it would be useful.

They say that knowledge is power and any observations you make about your own emotional state can result in helpful guidelines and rules. Then, when you break the rules, at least you know you have a reason for the way you feel, and somehow, that makes you feel a bit better.

Right. Off to make that cup of tea and to tackle the ironing – but in a relaxed way, of course!

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Anonymous Fri, Oct 25th 2013 @ 8:34am

Cannot endorse this action enough. It's all too easy to get drawn into ;achieving' when what you really need to do is take sometime out and centre yourself again. I walk the dogs before tackling yet another 'target'

Anonymous Fri, Oct 25th 2013 @ 9:21am

I wholeheartedly agree with this post. We live in a world where constant busyness is frequently lauded and sometimes I've felt inferior because I can't keep up with some of my friends. I have now worked out my own way of doing things incorporating quiet time for me. One day socialising, one day off, otherwise I feel jagged. I've accepted that doing nothing time is okay, that I need reflective time and it's okay to meet my needs rather than adopt the shoulds and oughts of others. That it's okay to enjoy being alone with me, I can be quite good company...

Anonymous Fri, Oct 25th 2013 @ 10:45am

Hear, hear.

Anonymous Fri, Oct 25th 2013 @ 10:52am

A really good post today, and a timely reminder to me that I need to listen more closely to my body.

I've had an evil cold this week. I took 3 days off work, but then went on to use those 3 days to catch up with jobs at home, and I still feel woolly in the head on my second day back at work.

I know that if I'd just rested for those 3 days (like I knew I should have done) I might have been over the cold by now. It's clear to see how this works when you have a physical illness.

It follows, then, that we need to be sensible and look after ourselves mentally and emotionally as well.


Anonymous Fri, Oct 25th 2013 @ 12:29pm

Really helpful seeing these comments today.Thankyou Moodscopers.

Jeff Baker Fri, Oct 25th 2013 @ 3:28pm

Spot on, Mary,

My psychiatrist treats me for bipolar disorder and is fanatical about observing one's circadian rhythms. Sleep is an issue for me, and I usually win, but sometimes not and I must tread lightly to prevent another damaging episode. As a matter of fact, I'll be shutting down my computer in about an hour or so, make a cup of coffee, and walk around our beautiful circle, where the leaves are just beginning to show their Fall colors. Thanks so much for your reminder and have a wonderful day. - Jeff, Bella Vista, Arkansas, USA

Anonymous Sat, Oct 26th 2013 @ 1:40am

Nice one. I like this a lot.

Anonymous Sat, Oct 26th 2013 @ 12:59pm

Sleep is critical...

It might be treasonous, but you might recommend that your friend take a look at Optimism online to track mood, sleep, etc.

Anonymous Mon, Oct 28th 2013 @ 12:15am

Thanks for this reminder on rules. I've made an informal study of rules and see there are many, many types. I've became a member of Moodscope in a way to track my daily moods to skirt success-triggered mania. I'm using another site now, but love Moodscope for the daily articles.

There are many rules that live just out of awareness that can wreck havoc of reap rewards. And there are our rules for ourselves about how to change our own rules.

I am usually tweaking a rule to see if I can better formulate it for myself or to plumb its [former?] purpose and meaning. The current rule in this place is: if I am with people I know I want to be having a conversation, *always*. It's the always at the end that's under review. It certainly gets quiet when I can leave always and allow *sometimes*, or *on occasion* have their turns.

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