I would like to introduce to you a new column that we will be sharing each week. It is called The Bipolar Diary and will be place where we can share our stories of Bipolar Disorder, ways to handle this disorder and different posts that will educate you on what Bipolar Disorder is.
For the next few weeks, we will be sharing posts that were originally posted over at Melanie’s Blog. Enjoy!
Since I was diagnosed with Type 1 Bipolar Disorder, I’ve been trying to figure out if and how the actual diagnosis would alter my life. Turns out, it changes things quite a bit.
My moods are on their own schedule. I cannot control when or where they will transform. But what I can control is how I react to the abrupt and irritating changes.
I have to take care of myself or I will spin out of control. The more I take care of myself, the calmer my brain becomes. It simply won’t balance things properly if I don’t give it the time to adjust.
Here are the Top 10 ways I take care of myself:
- Meditate. (Obviously. But seriously, it’s changing my life.)
- Drink more water. (It sounds weird but it really does help me feel better.)
- Eat a meal. (This constitutes as self-care, especially if I eat something healthy.)
- Listen to music. (It keeps me up and energized.)
- Lotion my hands, elbows and/or feet. (They always need it and I always try to recognize and savor those precious moments of caring for my body.)
- Take a bath. (I’m not the biggest bath person so this one is hard for me, but I really do appreciate the time I have to myself when I do get one.)
- Take a shower. (If I’m pressed for time, I’ll luxuriate in the few moments I do have.)
- Positive affirmations. (These are always a good idea.)
- Do something therapeutic. (I’ll write, play the piano, draw or color.)
- Write. (Because it’s that important.)
Guys, I know it’s so hard to stop and take time to take care of yourselves but it’s SO important. Even more important than taking care of yourself is being present in the moment. It helps you recognize that you’re getting time for yourself, which recharges your batteries even more so you’re better able to handle the stresses of the day. Meditation teaches how to be more present, and I can’t encourage you enough to try it.
This list is just a snippet of the things you can do to take care of yourself but it took a lot of advice and work to find the right self-care actions for me. I’ve had lots of help along the way.
My favorite source of encouragement online comes from a wonderful website called Thrive.How. The founder, and fellow Huffington Post Blogger, Kate, is the nicest life coach from New Zealand that I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing. She’s like a breath of fresh air on the internet!
Visit her site, Thrive.How, for TONS of inspiration and ways to take care of yourself. She’ll even help you get going!
Take care of yourselves, please. Reach out for help if you need it. And take things a day at a time.
Melanie McKinnon is a wife, mother of 3 plus 1 in heaven, and a barre fitness instructor. She loves writing, Diet Pepsi, hugging her kids and dating her husband. On her blog, Melanie Meditates, you will find subscription box reviews, her experience with anxiety, depression and loss, stories about her life as a mother, and some tips for maintaining sanity. She hopes to encourage and inspire anyone fighting a daily battle.