Many people that I’ve met who are diagnosed with bipolar disorder are very intelligent and creative individuals. Sometimes those same people have very high expectations of themselves due to being smart. Another potential tie-in for some is that when manic some of us get a TON of stuff done. Although this energy and output is not sustainable long term, in my opinion it does open a window as to what we are capable of. It is quite common, and was personally for myself on different occasions, to have a depressive period after a manic one. In many ways that felt like a setback to me.
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From my childhood until approximately five years ago, I never really thought about what I ate for breakfast. Like everyone else I had heard many times that "breakfast is the most important meal of the day". A common breakfast for me was orange juice with one or more of the following: cereal with milk, some sort of fresh fruit, and often toast with jam. Hearing that some people don't eat anything for breakfast made me think and feel that I was doing pretty well eating what I was.
Often I hear of women getting together with one or more friends to do things to support one person and/or another. Some examples are getting a manicure, meeting for coffee, or going to a movie. Sadly this isn’t as common in guys doing things together with their buddies from a place of support. Sure a lot of guys hang out with each other. However I strongly feel that guys supporting other guys when required is something that is greatly beneficial and needed. I’d like to see much more of this and will share some of my experience and ideas below.
I know, I know...some of you guys out there have raised eyebrows as you’re reading this. You may be thinking something along the lines of “self care is for women” and/or “self care is for sissies.” I used to think that way too.
In the past five years my overall holistic health and mental stability have both improved dramatically. One of the main reasons is due to my increased awareness of and focus on self care. In my experience, the more effort and time I put into self care the healthier and more mentally stable I am.
I’ve read in many places that the average person has around 70,000 thoughts per day. You may have already heard this. That is a huge number! Seventy thousand.
It’s also been said that the typical person has more negative than positive thoughts. And for those of us diagnosed with bipolar disorder, there is a good chance that we may be having more negative thoughts than the average person out there.
What does this mean?
In the past week I had an in-depth conversation about bipolar disorder with a friend of mine who knows very little about it. I appreciated her honesty and being open to learn about something that has been a big part of my life. One question that she asked me really stuck out.
“What assisted you the most in getting out of depression?”
After briefly thinking about it I answered “supporting other people."
What Tools Do You Consistently Use to Effectively Manage Your Bipolar Disorder?
The intention of this post is to get people sharing what works for them. And for those who are not as far along in their path to mental stability and wellness, it can serve as ideas and/or inspiration of strategies or tools to consider incorporating into your life.
At present I use a variety of tools to be very holistically healthy overall and mentally stable. That being said, I am always open to new ideas!
This is a tool that I learned about on a Facebook post late last year written by Elizabeth Gilbert, the author who wrote “Eat Pray Love”. I’ve been consistently using this tool since January 1, 2015 and am grateful to have come across it! This tool helps anyone, and can potentially be very beneficial to those of us diagnosed with bipolar disorder.
What is a happiness jar?
It is a way to have a visual reminder of happy moments in your daily life...no matter how big or small.
How do I keep a happiness jar?
The purpose of this tool is to be reminded of good things that people have said about us. When I've felt low in the past and taken a look through this file, it has helped to improve my mood.
This tool consists of both a physical file folder and a digital folder in your email, or somewhere in your computer.
January 28, 2015 was Bell Let’s Talk Day in Canada. It’s an initiative by a major company to get more people talking about mental health. The intention is to reduce stigma and raise awareness. Bell donated five cents towards mental health programs for every social media share, text, tweet, or call made on that day. It’s growing every year and over $6,000,000 was raised in 2015 from this. Programs like Bell Let’s Talk Day are helping Canadians to become more accepting of mental illness and also reduce the labeling of persons diagnosed with such.