How To Live A Healthy Life With Bipolar Disorder
Bipolar disorder is a severe mood disorder that can affect a person’s thinking, behavior, and ability to feel. People with bipolar disorder swing back and forth between two extremes of mood, with periods of every day or near-normal mood in between.
If you’re diagnosed with this mental illness, you might always feel tired or stressed out. You may have trouble concentrating or remembering things, which can affect your daily activities. For instance, you might find it challenging to make decisions, get along with others, or solve problems. As a result, you won’t be able to function normally, which affects your long-term success.
To avoid these situations, here’s a five-item list of strategies that you can adopt so you can live a healthy life with bipolar disorder:
Table of Contents
Find Support Groups
You need social support as part of your treatment plan when suffering from mental issues. Support groups provide this type of social connection because you’ll be able to talk about your experiences with others with bipolar disorder. During your sessions, you might be able to reduce feelings of isolation and loneliness so you can recover from this illness.
When looking for support groups, you must consider your needs and how you want to receive support. If you’re starting with bipolar disorder, you may click here to find a group offering education and support for new patients. Some of these groups are led by mental health professionals, while others are led by peers diagnosed with the condition. If you can find the right one, this group can help you acclimate to the challenges of living with bipolar disorder.
Get Enough Sleep
If you have rapid-cycling bipolar disorder, poor sleep habits can worsen this condition by causing more rapid shifts in moods. Sleep deprivation can cause extreme highs and lows that may trigger a manic episode. If you continue to adopt this unhealthy sleeping routine, you might not be able to recover from your low mood. Besides that, you might be unable to return to normal functioning levels.
To ensure you’re getting enough sleep, you must practice going to bed simultaneously each night. Doing so can help regulate hormone levels and circadian rhythms so you can have more energy throughout the day. Similarly, you should also avoid taking naps during the daytime if possible. Naps can interfere with your nighttime internal clocks by stimulating brain activity too early in the evening, which affects your sleeping schedule.
Exercise can help manage symptoms of both mania and depression by releasing mood-boosting chemicals in the brain. This activity can also help people with bipolar disorder sleep better at night, which is essential because insomnia is common among those with the condition.
The following are three of the best exercises that you can do to improve your lifestyle as you live with bipolar disorder:
- Yoga: This exercise offers numerous benefits for people with bipolar disorder. Yoga helps improve your mood by increasing serotonin levels in the brain, which makes you feel happier and less anxious. This activity also helps ease stress and anxiety by calming your nervous system and lowering blood pressure.
- Tai Chi: The slow movements in tai chi help calm your mind so that you feel relaxed after doing this exercise regularly for about ten minutes daily. This activity improves blood circulation throughout the body, which helps deliver oxygen to all body parts, including brain cells, which are crucial for preventing memory loss. Tai chi also reduces stress hormones like cortisol while increasing endorphins, natural chemicals that stabilize your mood.
- Meditation: This mental exercise involves focusing on your breathing while emptying your mind of any thoughts that may interfere with the process. Meditation can increase self-awareness and improve concentration levels because it allows you to be more aware of your thoughts that may be causing stress. If you do this activity regularly, you’ll be more conscious when you suddenly receive reminders of your trauma, which helps you manage your emotions.
Eat A Balanced Diet
Some patients with bipolar disorder experience increased cravings for sugary foods when they have manic episodes. This craving can lead them to consume junk food or soda pop, affecting their sleep quality and causing weight gain. As a result, these issues might result in stress, triggering symptoms like mania. So, you should adopt a balanced diet to manage your bipolar disorder and prevent future health issues.
There are three steps you can take when creating a healthy eating plan:
- Drink Lots Of Water Daily: This strategy can help you stay hydrated and boost your energy levels. Water helps regulate your body temperature, so you feel more comfortable during hot days or when exercising intensely. Aside from that, this substance helps flush out toxins from your body so that you don’t feel fatigued throughout the day.
- Eat Whole Foods: This tactic means sticking to unprocessed foods made from natural ingredients without added sugars or preservatives. For example, choose fruits and vegetables for snacks instead of buying cookies and chips. When doing so, you’ll feed your body with vitamins and minerals rather than empty calories.
- Watch Portions: Eating large portions can lead to weight gain over time, which isn’t good if you have bipolar disorder. To keep portions in check, use smaller plates and bowls along with measuring cups to help keep track of how much food you’re putting on your plate at any given time.
Take Prescribed Medications
Medication helps reduce the intensity of manic episodes and prevent them from starting in the first place. This substance can also lessen, but it won’t make you feel better if no other underlying issues are causing your depression. While medication doesn’t cure bipolar disorder, it does help keep your symptoms under control so that you can live a full life.
Talk to your doctor about any side effects to ensure that you take the proper medication for your condition and your mental health. Also, read the instructions carefully and ask questions if anything is unclear. Ensure you understand how often you need to take your medicine, what times are best for taking it, and what dosage is appropriate.
Living with bipolar disorder can affect how you deal with your daily activities. Therefore, you should adopt a healthier lifestyle by following these five strategies. Once you do so, you might be able to stabilize your moods and prevent relapses as you recover from this condition.