Bipolar is defined as a brain disorder that causes unusual shifts in mood, energy, activity levels, and the ability to carry out day-to-day tasks. (National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
Everyday life for someone with Bipolar can be difficult to manage without any major upsets to our daily routine. The highs of mania and lows of depression can cycle through our day like a roller coaster causing havoc on our daily lives and relationships with others.
Stress is defined as a state of mental or emotional strain or tension resulting from adverse or very demanding circumstances.
Adding an unexpected disruption into anyone’s daily life, whether it be good or bad, raises their stress level for sure. When that person already has the added difficulty of Bipolar disorder, or any other mental health issue, the stress level jumps to outrageous highs.
How To Cope
Of course there is the ever-present advice of taking your meds, talking to your doctors and support groups, yada yada yada. All of those are really great advice too, if you maintain these things, you can begin to get a handle on your life.
What about daily life? What to do when someone suddenly pisses in your Wheaties?
- Take a really deep breath – slowly. During this breath, think about why you are where you are at that moment – paycheck, satisfaction, fun, shopping for a needed item, whatever the purpose – and realize that you have a ‘mission’ to complete. Realize that the person that just did whatever they did will not stop you from attaining your goal if you do not let them.
- Take a minute alone if you need to. Step away if you can to a quiet place and evaluate what actions, if any, you should take regarding the new situation. Then rethink them a couple of times to be sure of your course. Follow your options through – if I do this, this will (probably) happen, and so forth for each option you have. Make your choice and, as Nike would say, Just Do It.
Other things that can help are getting a pet, regular exercise and sunshine (yeah, sunshine! it elevates moods and vitamin D levels). Using light, sound, color, touch, music, smell, any of your senses to create a mood lifting atmosphere around you (a small necklace or bracelet with an essential oil infuser in it is amazing therapy here – you can find them practically anywhere). Carrying a photo of someone or something that fills you with good feelings and thoughts to look at when your motivation lags can also help.
Years ago, I would put a large rubber band on my wrist and, every time I would find myself feeling sorry about my situation, or getting depressed, I would snap it hard enough to leave a mark. It was sort of a punishment for feeling sorry for myself. It worked for some time, until I began to enjoy the sound of it too much.
For more tips on coping with Bipolar and Stress Help Guide: Living with Bipolar Disorder
Have A Fabulous Day!
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