Whether you are recently diagnosed with bipolar or already managing your wellness, not veering from your recovery plan is essential—after all, it’s the most important journey you’ll ever take. Since there will be bumps in the road and detour signs everywhere, here are eleven tips to go the limit:
#1 Find the right therapist for you
While it may not be an easy task, choosing the right therapist for you is worth the effort. After learning about the different treatment orientations and their experience, it’s time to interview potential therapists. Ultimately, trust your gut and choose someone you trust; the connection with this person is essential.
#2 Find the right treatment plan
All treatment—pharmacological, therapy, lifestyle—needs to be designed specifically for you. There’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to emotional, behavioral and psychological protocols. Perhaps for you, focusing on therapy for the mind, as much as you do on medication for the brain, will help repair the damage and keep the wellness wheels turning.
#3 Write out your feelings
There’s something validating and therapeutic about writing down your feelings. It puts them in one spot and keeps you from thinking about everything at once by putting one problem down at a time. Try it for just two minutes a day, to start, and see what happens.
#4 Seek support from others
You need people who can help you when you can’t help yourself. Perhaps joining a support group, either online or in person is right for you. Along with writing, sharing your story can also be very rewarding. Write it down and share it, or talk to your close friends and family members about what you’re struggling with. You never know who needs to hear what you have to say.
#5 Be self-aware of your triggers
It’s important to be cognizant of what causes mood swings for you. What incites euphoria: poor sleep, excessive stress? What brings you down: negative thinking, bad relationships? Being aware of your triggers can help minimize mania and decrease depression.
#6 Pay attention to your thoughts
How you see your situation is critical. By being aware of what you’re thinking, you’ll be less likely to react emotionally, but rather consciously. You will be more successful in managing your bipolar disorder when you’re mindful of what you’re thinking and doing. Meditation can help you learn how to step away from stressful moment in life and manage them with a clearer mind.
#7 Simplify your life
Clearing out your house, schedule and work space will help keep your mind uncluttered. Take small steps to start reducing the amount of discord in your life. By finding a regular routine it will be less stressful and you’ll find it easier to balance things if you know what to expect.
#8 Be adaptable
Adapting to ever-changing cycles is part and parcel of having bipolar. Being flexible in whatever life throws at you, and adopting a go-with-the-flow attitude rather than beating yourself up in the face of adversity will reduce stress significantly.
#9 Never stop learning
You can’t fight something you know nothing about. Learn common triggers, coping mechanisms, medications and possible side effects. Being knowledgeable is key to getting well. These days, the Internet makes it easier than ever to gain insight. If you’re educated there is less chance you’ll settle short and instead will set your sights for full recovery high.
#10 Patience is key
It’s natural to look for a quick fix. But gaining control over a chronic condition like bipolar takes time. It takes time to learn how to take care of yourself. You’re working with a different set of rules now and, even though it’s frustrating, it’s better to go easy on yourself and not expect instant results.
#11 Practice gratitude
Be cognizant of the support and encouragement you are receiving from family and friends. Some people find it helpful to keep a daily gratitude journal to remind themselves of what they’re thankful for. Changing your thinking from the burdens of bipolar to gratefulness for life’s blessings will always help your state of mind.
via bpHope – bp Magazine Community