Even the slightest change in our health-related habits can cause mood symptoms.
Here are four health components you may want to consider in minding your bipolar:
Reducing caffeine intake helps support sleep. Sleep is an issue for many people who live with bipolar disorder, especially in a manic episode. Caffeine can also contribute to anxiety and even may make you feel like you are exhibiting symptoms of panic. Try decaffeinated coffee and tea; at least monitor your caffeine intake.
Staying active can reduce stress and anxiety. It also helps keep me from feeling “wound up”. Exercise increases blood flow to the brain and stimulates hormones that make us feel good.
We need water in order for our brains and bodies to function. Some of the medications we take may also make us thirsty or dehydrated. I use an app called Waterlogged that reminds me to drink water throughout the day. It depends on the person, but for me, the goal is 64 oz.
It’s important for people with bipolar to monitor their sleep. We all have different sleep patterns. However, we can utilize charts and apps in order to record our sleep hours and quality of sleep in order to notice and anticipate changes. I get a good amount of sleep, but when my sleep hours rise to 10 or 12 a day, this means, for me, that I’m depressed. Sleeping any less than 6 per night and I feel terrible as well.
The rule of thumb is an average of 6-8 hours a night. Find your norm, and also try to find patterns that may help you anticipate symptoms changes. If you’re tired, sleep, but let your doctor know if your norm is getting out of whack.
Which one of these four components could you improve on?