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!
There are people on one or more psychiatric medications that are stable, and there are people like myself who are not on any medication that are stable. In my experience, whether someone is on any medication or not, the majority of people that I’ve come across who are stable that manage their bipolar disorder well use one or more tools or habits.
In the past two months I’ve added some new daily tools to my tool belt and as a direct result feel more mentally calm, happy, and mentally stable than I have been in my fifteen year bipolar journey. Those new tools include: an intention statement, a short and easy yoga session first thing in the morning, and focusing on improving my mindset.
Before getting out of bed in the morning I say out loud “I know today will be a great day”. What this does is sets an intention that my day will go well. I’ve been doing this for three months now and the vast majority of my days have been good ones. Depending on your religious beliefs this could be tailored to your particular situation to make it even more powerful.
Short and easy yoga session
I do this as soon as my feet hit the floor after waking up, unless nature really calls! For me doing a short yoga session first thing after getting out of bed does many things. First of all it gets me grounded and allows my day to start in a relaxed manner. Second of all it limbers up certain major muscle groups and gets my body physically in balance. Lastly it gives me a small win to start my day. What do I mean? It means that I accomplish something VERY early in my day and feel good about that. It gives me momentum moving forward.
Focusing on improving my mindset
In late 2014 I came across a book that has dramatically helped me regain control of my mind and reduce my mental chatter. The book is called “Creating A Bug Free Mind” by Andy Shaw. The purpose of the book is to remove the negative “bugs” that are present in most adults’ minds. What do I mean by bugs? Self-doubt, fear, worry about the future, non-acceptance of current situation, resentment/regretting the past, and anxiety. In my experience many self-help books preach that by thinking positive everything will be good. That simply did not work for me. I read and/or listen to this book daily. When I made the decision to consciously and daily dive into this book it was not always easy. That being said I now feel much lighter, live more in the present, and have barely any mental chatter. I’m still working on my mindset and have some work to do however I have come a LONG ways in the past four months.
What tools do you use consistently to help manage your bipolar disorder?