5 Pillars of Creating a Stable Circadian Rhythm: Structure & Routine (vital for people with bipolar disorder)
Everything in life and in being human has a rhythm.
Our hearts have their rhythm and if the rhythm becomes irregular we have problems.
Every part of our body plays a role in circadian rhythm. When circadian rhythm becomes irregular we have problems.
All of life has a balance and rhythm and when it is out of balance in life (which it is) there are problems (which there are).
Many of they rhythms that affect our lives we have absolutely no control over…for instance we have no control over WHAT HAPPENS TO US.
In this article we will focus on the rhythms that we do have the ability to INFLUENCE.
We may not be able to control these rhythms, but we can influence their STABILITY.
We cannot easily influence the QUALITY of sleep, especially when we have stressors in our life.
Living with bipolar disorder affects our ability to sleep. Mania prevents us from having the ability to sleep.
We have complete influence of WHEN we sleep.
We influence our sleep by what time we go to bed and what time we wake up.
If we go to bed consistently at the same time and wake up at the same time when we are rested, our body is in rhythm and we can best function.
Sleep is SOOOO important because this is when our bodies do some of the most important things for our survival:
1.) Repair what has been damaged.
2.) Create memory.
6.) Collective Unconscious (Dream).
7.) Heal emotional wounds.
Sleep is vital as a human being. Without it we cannot survive.
What we eat, when we eat and how much we eat.
We have full control of what we give our body as nourishment and fuel.
What we choose to eat plays a large role in our bodies abilities to do what it needs to do to best function.
If we feed ourselves crap…we will probably get crap from our bodies.
If we don’t eat often enough…we spend a lot of our time being hungry and not being able to function.
If we eat too much we affect our bodies health and ability to function…we make it significantly harder to function.
What we do with our bodies.
Frankly, if you don’t use it you lose it.
To have a strong body, we have to do what builds strength and if we don’t do it…we won’t be strong and our bodies will not be able to endure much.
We have complete influence over:
– What we learn.
– The time we spend learning.
– How committed we are to learning.
We cannot control HOW we learn.
We cannot control our ACCESS to tools for learning.
However, there are libraries that make knowledge VERY accessible so there are no excuses.
Each person has a different learning style.
But we have complete control and responsibility for LEARNING.
If we choose NOT to learn, ignorance is our fault.
Connection with Others
As human beings our survival relies on connection with others.
Without a relationship with others, we would not have food, shelter, clothing or any form of physical, mental or emotional security.
Relationships have a rhythm to them.
Relationships are a huge part of being human.
We can’t control what happens in relationships, EVER.
But we can control whether or not we are CONNECTED with people (mentally, emotionally, spiritually, physically, sexually etc)
When all of these rhythms are a part of our daily life…we have balance, we have structure and we are more likely to have routine.
This empowers us to be able to be productive, to work hard, to be effective and efficient in what we do.
When these rhythms are missing, lacking or are out of balanced in our lives episodes are far more likely to occur for people living with mental illness and the absence of these rhythms may invite mental illness into someone’s life.