Bipolar disorder is a mental illness that causes extreme mood swings. The disorder, also known as manic depression, has been around for centuries and affects millions worldwide.
Even though one of the best ways to treat bipolar disorder is through programs such as the ones offered by Jackson House and other similar services, there are lifestyle changes you can make to improve your overall health. This blog will discuss healthy lifestyle habits that will help manage the condition and keep it from worsening. So, read on for more information.
- Eat Healthily
To keep your body healthy, you should eat a balanced diet. That means eating a variety of foods from all the different food groups. The most important thing is to avoid junk food, which can be high in saturated fat and empty calories. You should also make sure to eat enough protein, fiber, vegetables, and fruit—all of these foods are good for you.
You should drink plenty of water every day as well. Doing so helps flush out toxins and waste products from your body. If you don’t, waste buildup inside your body can cause swelling or inflammation, leading to symptoms such as depression or anxiety attacks during bipolar disorder episodes where there’s inflammation happening due to lack of sleep caused by insomnia (lack of REM sleep).
- Stay Hydrated
The most important thing you can do for your health is to drink plenty of water. While it seems like a no-brainer, many people don’t realize how much water they need daily. Accordingly, adults should consume about eight 8-ounce glasses of water daily. But some people may need more or less depending on the climate and other factors, such as their daily activities.
You should be drinking water before you feel thirsty to avoid dehydration. If you wait until you’re thirsty before drinking any fluids, it might be too late. The symptoms of dehydration include dizziness and fatigue in mild cases, severe headaches, and cramping muscles if left unchecked.
If possible, drink at regular intervals throughout the day instead of just once every few hours (e.g., 9 am – 10 am – 12 pm – 2 pm). Doing so will help keep your body in balance, even better than irregularly spaced drinks would. Also, try adding lemon juice or mint leaves for flavor options that aren’t as boring as plain old water all by itself.
- Learn To Manage Stress
Learning to manage stress can be one of the most important things you do for your bipolar disorder. Stress can be an exacerbating factor in your bipolar disorder, causing or worsening symptoms. So, it’s crucial to learn how to manage stress so it doesn’t take over your life.
Take a break from work or other activities and enjoy some downtime. Take a walk outside or go out with friends for dinner instead of sitting at home thinking about work or stressful situations. Meditate, do yoga, listen to music—do whatever works best for you.
- Get Enough Sleep
You need seven to nine hours of sleep each night to feel rested, refreshed and energized. If you’re having trouble sleeping, several things can help:
- Make your bedroom as dark and quiet as possible so that it’s easier for you to fall asleep at night.
- Go to bed at the same time every night and get up at the same time every morning. It will help maintain your body’s natural sleep cycles and stabilize your mood.
- Don’t nap during the day because it could interfere with getting a good night’s rest later in the evening (naps are also discouraged for people with bipolar disorder because they may worsen manic symptoms).
If you still have problems falling asleep or staying asleep even after making changes in your environment, talk with a doctor about medications that might help improve how well you sleep.
- Exercise Regularly
Another thing you can do to manage your bipolar disorder is to exercise regularly. Exercise has been shown to increase energy, improve mood and self-esteem, and reduce anxiety and depression. It can also help you sleep better at night. If you’re feeling sluggish because of your bipolar disorder or medication side effects, try adding exercise to your daily routine.
Exercise is not just for people who want to lose weight; anyone can benefit from it. Keep in mind that the benefits of physical activity depend on the type of activity performed and how much time is spent doing it. For example, running five miles daily may be more beneficial than walking one mile every other day. It is because running will result in more calories burned than walking would. But if your goal is to gain simple health benefits rather than weight loss, then either activity is wise for you to try.
- Plan Your Day
One of the best ways to keep your bipolar disorder in check is to build a routine. If you have regular, set times for taking your medication, eating healthy meals, and getting enough sleep, it will be easier on you than if you have no schedule.
It’s especially true if you’re prone to experiencing mood swings because they happen when they happen, and that’s not always at convenient times. But with a consistent schedule in place, these types of upsets are more likely to be kept under control.
- Take Your Medication As Prescribed
Your medication works best when you take it as prescribed by your doctor. Take it on time every day and try to avoid missing doses. If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember (if it’s almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose), but if it has been over four hours since your last dose, skip the missed one and continue with your usual schedule. But if you forget more than one dose in a day and cannot get back on track with all of them within a few days, call your doctor immediately.
There are many things you can do to manage bipolar disorder, but one of the most important is to make sure that your lifestyle is healthy. Lifestyle changes can help you feel less stressed, more energized, and more in control of your emotions—all of which can help you manage the symptoms associated with bipolar disorder more effectively. Here are some tips for living a healthier life with bipolar disorder.