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Everyday Tips for Living with Bipolar Disorder

There’s a lot you can do to help manage your bipolar disorder. Along with seeing your doctor and therapist and taking your medicines, simple daily habits can make a difference.

Start with these strategies.

Set a schedule. Many people with bipolar disorder find if they stick to a daily schedule, it helps them control their mood.

Pay attention to your sleep. This is especially important for people with bipolar disorder. Being sleep-deprived can sometimes trigger mania in those with the condition. It can also be a sign of a flare-up of your symptoms. For instance, just a few nights of less sleep may mean that a manic episode could be coming on. Or if you start to sleep a lot more than normal, it might mean you’re depressed.

Use these tips:

  • Go to sleep and get up at the same times every day.
  • Relax before bed by listening to soothing music, reading, or taking a bath.
  • Don’t sit up in bed watching TV or scrolling through your phone.
  • Make your bedroom a calming space.
  • If your sleep patterns start to change, tell your doctor or therapist.

Exercise. It may improve your mood whether or not you have bipolar disorder. And you’ll probably sleep better, too.

If you’re not active now, check with your doctor that you’re healthy enough to get started. Keep it simple at first, such as walking with a friend. Gradually, work up to working out for at least 30 minutes a day on most days of the week.

Eat well. There’s no specific diet for people with bipolar disorder. But just like anyone else, choosing the right kinds of foods can help you feel better and give you the nutrients you need. Focus on the basics: Favor fruits, vegetables, lean protein, and whole grains. And cut down on fat, salt, and sugar.

Tame stress. Anxiety can worsen mood symptoms in many people with bipolar disorder. So take time to relax.

Lying on the couch watching TV or checking your social media accounts isn’t the best way to go. Instead, try something more focused, like yoga or other types of exercise. Meditation is another good choice. An easy way to do that is to simply focus on your breathing for a few minutes, letting other thoughts come and go without paying them a lot of attention.

Reposted from WebMD

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