Runners on bridge

10 Healthy Ways to Manage Bipolar Disorder

  1. Get in touch with your doctor. Find a good psychiatrist (by referral if possible). If you are comfortable with them, be honest with them. Tell them how you feel and when you feel low or what triggers you to climb upward. There is nothing wrong with being transparent about your moods. In fact, they should be in the know about your behaviors and symptoms. The clearer you are with them, the better the help they can administer to you. 
  2. Talk to a counselor. You need a support team, not just a doctor. I found that those counselors or social workers in the mental health counseling field that worked with me using Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) has helped me immensely. CBT has a very good method to uncovering our motives for our behaviors and reasons we tend to think the way we do. I highly recommend this type of therapy, for anyone.
  3. Exercise. Get those endorphins flowing! Your body needs it as does your mind. Perhaps one key factor in keeping my sanity and stability through my life has been the time and effort I put into running. I met some great people that run, wherever I go, and it challenges me to move my butt. Besides, I love to eat, what more can I say?

    Runners on bridge

    Image source: bossfight.co

  4. Eat well. Oh, yes speaking of…I’m no saint at the diet I go by, so don’t look to me as an example. I may be “in shape” but I certainly have my struggles of temptation while trying to balance what I eat in quality and quantity. I think we all know what a healthy diet looks like, it’s pretty obvious what eating junk does to you too. So, as my grandmother would say: “everything in moderation.”
  5. Stay socially active. Stop being a hermit, if you are, and go make friends. So much of our depression and wallowing in our own mucky thoughts can be brought to light with a good friend who knows and cares for you. Find others you connect well with and invest in those relationships. And be the friend you’d always want to have. Seriously, if we just sit on our computers all day — dang I don’t have to be bipolar to get depressed — just looking at my Facebook feed does that.
  6. Pray and praise. Not only do scientific studies support and validate the acts of prayer and worship, if you’re worshipping the God who created you, you’re choosing to look to Him to guide you, and He will prove Himself strong when you are weak. I believe situations can change because of God, and I also believe the illness can cause us to rely on God all the more. So get your spiritual armour on and get in tune to His presence, love and gifts in this life. And don’t forget to read His word! Stand on His promises in the Bible. Claim them and pray them right back to Him. If you want to know what a bipolar prayer looks like, just read King David’s Psalms.

    praises-1-1310126

    Image source: freeimages.com

  7. Journal. This has been a place of solitude for me. I keep a prayer journal and I wrote a memoir, so in those mediums I have journaled my journey. I highly recommend journaling for anyone wanting to get more perspective on their thoughts and take inventory of what they’re really thinking. It is not only a therapeutic relief, you can go back and read it and see how much you’ve grown. Maybe you want to record your moods and track your changes in emotions, or maybe you’ve been angry with God and just want to ask Him in earnest to speak to your heart. I want you to experience freedom in expressing yourself and a journal is always a safe place to do so.
  8. Meet with a support group. You can always learn from others, if you’re willing to and want to. I find it freeing and uniting to identify with other people who have the disorder, and to offer them hope in what I’ve found works and how I’ve made it through the ups and downs. Support groups are a valuable resource for healing and revelation.
  9. Ask questions. Never be afraid to ask. You have the right to search out the answers for this disorder and the ways we have found successful in treating it. If your doctor prescribed you something and you don’t know what it does, ask. If you are wondering if you’re feeling a certain way because of what someone said, ask guidance from a counselor. If you don’t understand symptoms you can’t control, ask.

    girlfriends talking life

    Image source: bossfight.co

  10. Make the most of it. Your attitude and how you stay faithful to keep yourself healthy can make all the difference. If you keep a positive attitude and keep narrating your life with truth in your mind (realistic self talk), you will make it through the valleys and come off the mountaintops with wisdom. Your stability is within your control if you have patience and don’t give up hope. Celebrate the small successes and be gracious to yourself. Don’t be too hard on yourself – sometimes we do thing impulsively and later regret it. Keep reminding yourself that God is in control and if you’re His, He’s never going to let you go.
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