Depression can sneak up on you; here’s what you can do to convince yourself to take action:
#1 Don’t retreat
Have a plan with someone you trust to tell that person if you start to feel depressed and then ask this friend or partner to check in with you every few days. By going it alone, it opens the door for shame to creep in and silence you if you begin to judge and blame yourself
#2 Schedule an extra session as soon as possible
Call your therapist, psychiatrist, and/or support group right away, says social worker Judy Eron. “Your inclination will be to shrug this off and postpone calling—but don’t. Your health professional will likely have some clues as to whether something physical or chemical or hormonal might be contributing to your sinking mood.”
#3 Maintain healthy sleep habits
Many people who live with bipolar disorder are prone to sleep problems so it’s important to pay attention to your schedule. A change in your sleep quality can be a symptom of something lurking. It’s important to place sleep hygiene a high priority as sleep deprivation can trigger a depressive episode in people with bipolar disorder.
#4 Embrace nature
Go outside. Get some fresh air—just getting outside your own four walls can be a good thing. Eron suggests that by being active, raising your heartbeat—especially outdoors—can produce changes that can lift your mood. “Maybe you start by sitting on your front steps, then you work your way up to taking a brisk walk around the block.”
Sometimes it can be a relief to get away from thinking. Put on some soothing music, sit comfortably and still your mind by focusing on your breathing. Breathe in for 8 counts, then breathe out for 8 counts. The main thing is to concentrate on your breathing, to free yourself from thinking even for 10 minutes during the day.
Related: “Lesson Plan: Learning From Relapse”
via Esperanza – Hope To Cope
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