Saturday, May 3, 2014

Staying Healthy With Bipolar

May is Mental Health Awareness Month - did you know that?

It's nice if you wear green to support those with mental health issues, but don't let it stop there - also "break the silence, break the stigma".  A lot of people refuse to speak about mental health.  They don't see it as something they wish to speak about.  They don't think people with mental health issue can receive treatment or be helped in any way.  I know for a fact that isn't true.  I have included below some keys to having good health (physical, emotional, mental, personal, and spiritual) that is not only good for those with mental health issues (like bipolar), but it is good for all (taken/adapted from  Share this with those you care about!

Keys to Good Physical Health
  1. Practice good sleep habits - everyone should get 8-9 hours of sleep each night
  2. Eat a healthy diet, which does include healthy snacks - keep track of the foods you eat if this helps you
  3. Avoid foods that increase stress - some of these are sugar, chocolate, and caffeine
  4. Avoid alcohol and drugs - especially if you are on any medications!
  5. Exercise [at least] 3 times per week - this could be just walking if that's all you can do, it doesn't have to be strenuous exercise, just get your body moving
Keys to Good Mental Health
  1. Learn - continue to be on a path of learning, whether you have bipolar or another disorder/disability or someone in your family/friends has mental health issue, learn about it
  2. Challenge your mind - continue to be active, do brain teasers, sudoku, read, etc [I will have a blog in the next month about challenging your mind and staying happy - a website/app...look for it!]
  3. Have meaning and purpose to your life - don't just sit something, it is easier sometimes to get in a slump with bipolar and depression and to not want to get up and do anything with your life...try to have activities you do, places to meet people, groups to be involved in - do something that makes you happy!
  4. Have a sense of humor - haven't you heard that laughter is the best medicine??
Keys to Good Emotional Health
  1. Be productive (work, volunteer, do things around the house) - whatever the case may be, get up and move and get things done
  2. Make sure that your emotional needs are met - don't be afraid to talk about what is on your mind, how you are feeling, etc.
  3. Spend some time outdoors - a little fresh air is good for us all
  4. Don't isolate - this can be the easiest thing to do when in a depressed state, but it is something that also keeps you in the depressed state
  5. Have a good attitude, stay positive - if you need help with the positive attitude, ask a friend to help you...let them know you are working on this and have them help you to keep a good attitude and to cheer you up as you need it
  6. Stay as stress-free as possible - wow, this might be the most difficult of them all, but it's probably also the most important!  Figure out what works best for you to help keep the stress away, whether it's writing a list to help stay organized, asking for help when you need it rather than keeping things to yourself, saying 'no' when someone asks you to do one more volunteer activity...make sure you stay aware to your own stress level and keep it in check!
Keys to Good Personal Health
  1. Do things that make you happy - I don't know what else to say...don't do things that don't make you happy...well, as much as you can avoid the negative things, do
  2. Have a social life - with bipolar, like I said before, it's easy to isolate yourself and stay indoors...try to keep up a social life with your friends/family - whether it is going out to eat, to the movies, etc. just do something
  3. Enjoy being who you are - we can only change so much about ourselves, just be happy with the way God made you!
  4. Enjoy life - if you aren't enjoying life, then change it up so that you are - do things that you want to do, that you will enjoy to make like more enjoyable.  If you would like to go skydiving, because you think that you want more thrill in your life, then by all means, go skydiving to enjoy life a little more!
Keys to Good Spiritual Health
  1. Pray - Listen to God and seek His guidance, He will ALWAYS be there for you, HE made you just the way you are
  2. Meditate - I haven't been able to conquer this one quite yet (I'm a little too antsy for this), but if you can do it, I think it's great.  It gives your brain a time to slow down and relax.
  3. Write down thoughts and feelings in a journal (or blog) - get your feelings out, don't keep them bottled up, if you don't like a blog (like me), then write it on paper.  You don't even have to keep the paper, you can tear it up and throw it away, but the act of writing down feelings is a great one for your health.
  4. Go to a place of worship - being around those with similar interests and ideas is always beneficial to your spiritual help, it's great to have loving individuals around you.

No comments:

Post a Comment