Bipolar disorder is a mood disorder marked by dramatic shifts in energy level, mood, and the capacity to conduct everyday activities. Those who have this disorder experience bouts of extreme emotions and alterations in behavior, which are also called ‘mood episodes.’
Currently, the disorder affects nearly 5.7 million people in the US alone. It is common to feel powerless in the face of it. But choosing a proper bipolar disorder treatment is the first step for managing your symptoms and bringing them under control.
If you are dealing with this disorder, it becomes imperative for you to make certain adjustments in your lifestyle. It will help you cope with your illness and take charge of your symptoms. The tips mentioned below will assist you in improving the quality of your life while living with bipolar disorder.
1. Get Involved with Your Therapist
The more educated you are about the various symptoms of your disorder, the more effectively you will manage them. Interact with your therapist during your treatment and determine which treatment program will help you fulfill your goals.
The best you can do for yourself is to honestly communicate your symptoms and side effects of your medications with your doctor. Counseling and therapy are essential elements of a bipolar disorder treatment.
Techniques like cognitive behavioral therapy and interpersonal and social rhythm therapy are effective in helping you focus better and stabilize your mood swings.
2. Create a Routine
Even a slight disruption to your daily schedule can destabilize your mood. Structuring your day is a vital coping strategy for people with bipolar disorder. You can create and adhere to a daily routine by:
- Setting up a definite sleep schedule.
- Eating at set periods to ensure that your blood sugar, and consequently, the mood remains stable.
- Adding exercise to your daily routine to prevent yourself from feeling depressed.
- Setting time aside to socialize will make you feel happy and content.
- Defining a time to take the medications as prescribed in your bipolar disorder treatment
3. Relax and Minimize Stress
When the brain is experiencing a crisis, you automatically become prone to a mood episode. Bringing stress under control is thus very beneficial. You can save yourself from feeling overwhelmed and tensed by:
- Learning to relax using techniques like meditation, yoga, mindfulness practices, and music therapy.
- Prioritizing leisure activities. Do things that you love, whether it’s as easy as taking a walk outside.
- Simple stress-reducing activities include listening to your favorite music, enjoying the smell of scented candles, writing your thoughts in a journal, or taking a warm bath.
4. Put a Crisis Action Plan in Place
You may be doing the best you can to manage your symptoms. Still, it’s best not to negate the possibility of relapse or extreme depression. However, you can prevent yourself from feeling helpless in such emergencies by having a crisis action plan.
Such a plan consists of a list of emergency contacts for your therapist and family members and medications prescribed as per your bipolar disorder treatment plan. It also includes a list of severe symptoms and your treatment preference.
Always remember your strengths and that your illness does not define you. Combine your bipolar disorder treatment with the tips mentioned above and gain greater control over all aspects of your life.