20+ ESSENTIAL Bipolar Survival Strategies that WORK!!!
Please read if this post you have bipolar disorder or help someone with bipolar as a family member, friend or health professional.
My name is Nigel Bashér and i’m the founder of this website. I have Bipolar, so i have the challenging thoughts and feelings…from the dark suicidal thoughts, to the pressure of mania induced debt and depression related feelings of loneliness.Eyes regularly raw from endless tears of mental pain and self loathing, sleep deprivation and despair. To the invincibility, unpredictability, energy and enthusiasm of mania, before the bipolar cycle of symptoms starts all over again.
I’m sure medical advances will make a difference at some stage, however for now it is about managing the illness the best that we can.
Here is what i found that helps through experience, research and training, in no particular order… when i remember or think of other techniques, i’ll add them to this post.
Please be aware that the good and bad aspects of bipolar will still be there, hopefully less frequent and less severe.
Ok. Here goes…
1, Recognize that you have developed a challenging illness. It is not your fault. it happens to the best of us. I had a professional job that i enjoyed, but have had to adapt when bipolar meant that i could no longer do it….think of it as an opportunity to take a new direction….a new challenge that you couldn’t do before.
2, Any form of stability, routine or distraction from negative thoughts is a good thing.
3, If you are able to work for an employer, ensure that they are aware of your condition and your limitations. They will probably be more supportive and be able to accommodate you in the work force.
4, If you can’t work for somebody try working for yourself if you can. This is what i have done in the past, as i knew i couldn’t last in full time employment, as i never knew how i was going to feel from day to day etc.
5, Eventually, i found that i couldn’t work at all. Recognize that it is not your fault and it doesn’t make you any less of a person. Just living with bipolar is challenging enough, let alone the pressures of trying to hold down a job if it is too difficult for you.
6, Use CBT techniques on yourself to limit negative thinking. I have given you some useful inks below, including a similar technique that has always worked for me and others.
7, Pause before you speak or write anything…will it help or will it end up upsetting you and others.
8, Help others. Consider charity work. It usually makes you feel better about yourself to help others. Giving comes back to you.
9, Meditate or relax to recharge those energy reserves and improve mental well-being….avoid those stressors, they only increase the severity of your bipolar behavior..
10, Simplify your life. Too much mess and my mind becomes an even bigger mess.
11, Write down what you give away or lend out. People in my experience don’t return stuff. I’m still waiting for my canoe, boogie board, projector screen, electronic goods, foreign language CD’s, work tools, DVD’s books etc.
12, If you can afford it, outsource what you don’t like to do or can’t do. It makes your life easier and less stressful.
13, Keep a mood diary to become aware of your mood cycles. Try the mobile mood awareness apps or just use an old fashioned note pad.
14, Manage any debt…cut up credit cards…it is not free money, for that is how it feels at times with bipolar. it only adds to your stress.
15, Exercise is a must to release feel good endorphins. I do so 3 times a week even when i don’t feel like it.
16, Eat foods that help to improve your mental health….google it.
17, If you have been prescribed medication, take it regularly. Don’t stop it even when you feel better or you will relapse.
18, If you forget to take meds, get a pill box, so you now what you have taken and when.
19, Consider natural alternatives to medication.
20, Avoid alcohol, especially when depressed, as it is a depressant.
21, Get plenty of sleep. Try and have a regular sleep routine. I try to sleep off unpleasant thoughts.
22, If you have suicidal thoughts, Speak to someone, preferably a mental health professional. It is too late if you act on such thoughts. At the very least a friend who will listen, or a group such as the Samaritans.
23, Have goals. (small achievable ones that give you the end result that you want). Getting things done, boosts confidence and self worth.
24, What are you good at, what do you enjoy…do more of it. Do less of the things that do the opposite. I know it is obvious, yet it is often so simple it is overlooked.
25, Watch comedy programs and be around positive happy people. These things will elevate your mood.
26, Recognize that living through the challenges of bipolar makes you mentally strong and able to help others with less mental strength in their time of need.
27, Utilize the positive aspects of bipolar to help yourself and others. For example, help others with a simple blog or Facebook page. Don’t let your experiences stay in your head, when others could benefit from reading about them.
28, Get out in nature. Use all of your senses to be fully present and aware…to appreciate the simple things in life.
29, Create a support network of understanding friends, family, heath workers etc.
30, Join a bipolar support group and help each other.
31, Have a purpose higher than yourself.
32, Make the most of the good times and have a strategy in place for the not so good times.
33, Behavior breeds behavior. You get back what you give out.
34, Put smile on your face and look up to trigger feel good emotions. Fake it until you make it as they say. If you frown and look down, you will trigger depressed feelings.
35, Model what works for others and you will get where you want to get to faster.
36, If you do what you have always done, you will always have the SAME results. Challenge yourself and your behavior patterns…daily.
Remember everybody has challenges some greater than our own. Life is a survival of the fittest scenario. That is how evolution works. Dig deep into your inner strength. you are stronger than you realize and have more to give to humanity in your own unique way…you have yet to discover what it is and to experience that gift.
Think outside of yourself and you will find what you need. Yes you deserve love and support…we all do, however instead of negatively internalizing everything, practice positive thought and action.
At the end of the day, we can only truly rely on ourselves to take charge of our own health and wellbeing. Any help from others is welcome but secondary to our own personal intervention.
Check out these useful links…
They have worked for me and others with bipolar.
1, My journey and what worked for me. http://bipolardays.com/about-us/
2, An effective way to deal with negative thoughts. http://bipolardays.com/depression-an-effective-way-to-deal-with-negative-thoughts/
3, Dealing with suicidal thinking. http://bipolardays.com/bipolar-disorder-coping-with-suicidal-thoughts/
4, RECOMMENDED…a very fast relaxation audio meditation. http://bipolardays.com/rapid-relaxation-meditation
This is an extremely affective relaxation download of mine that genuinely works in minutes. I currently have it on iTunes at a low introductory price. I only mention this, as it has been experienced by over 400,000 people to date and actually works…even in people who find it very difficult to relax.
“I usually take 30-45 minutes to fall asleep and even then I tend to wake up several times throughout the night. Literally every time That I have used this I was out cold before I even got part way through. Solid uninterrupted sleep and a lot of dream activity. Thank you”
You can read the MANY positive testimonial here http://bipolardays.com/testimonials/
If you want to relax deeply in just minutes, then this is for you too.
5, Find out your life purpose. http://bipolardays.com/free-ebook-offer/
6, Bipolar Survey, with a free stressless life ebook for taking part.It is quick and easy to do. https://goo.gl/forms/lEePYynQtZ2GSJVd2
Remember their are lots of helpful posts on my bipolar website and on my Facebook page.
Even though i have my own bipolar challenges and others, i am here for you through my blog etc, just as others less fortunate than ourselves need you. There are always human beings better off or worse off than us.
The past is in the past, the future has yet to show itself. What you do in the present moment will determine your life and legacy….learn to love yourself in a non narcissistic way and practice altruism.
Make your bipolar life count for something outside of yourself and your mental challenges. You are much stronger than you believe you are.
If you have anything constructive to add, such as other suggestions that would help. Please feel free to comment, as everybody has different coping strategies that may help others with bipolar.
If you enjoyed this post and found it helpful, then please share it and like it on our Facebook page…thank you
As always, this is information that works for me personally and is not professional medical advice.
I hope this helps you or someone that you know with bipolar in some way.
Professional Therapist, (founder of Bipolar Days) and medically diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder and PTSD.
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I developed PTSD and Bipolar and this website is to raise awareness of Bipolar primarily and to help others with the condition.
I'm also a retired Clinical Hypnotherapist and Entrepreneur...in that i aspire to helping others through the internet with my self-help websites and products.
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