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Bipolar Recovery: Reconstructing A Balanced Lifestyle

bipolar-articles-69-healthyplaceWhen your bipolar disorder is stable, that's the time to set up a plan for a balanced lifestyle. Learn what that entails.

Health/Physical

Illness

  • become well-informed about bipolar disorder
  • have adequate medical, psychological follow-up
  • do not stop bipolar medication without consultation
  • recognize early signs of mania and depression and get help immediately, adjusting bipolar medication can prevent some relapses

Exercise

  • exercise regularly. For the more enthusiastic, swimming, biking, hiking, otherwise, even walking is beneficial

Diet

  • become informed about nutrition
  • eat a well-balanced diet

Self-Care

  • attend to grooming needs
  • treat oneself to a new look, haircut, clothes

Family

  • give emotional support to family by listening, by acknowledging positive actions, by encouraging
  • seek emotional support from family
  • participate in activities alone, with spouse, together with family, with extended family
  • re: illness, decide mutually, steps to be taken if one becomes ill again and refuses treatment. Such planning can do much in preventing misunderstandings and in minimizing stress later on

Financial/Work

  • consider a savings plan for money to be used during a relapse when there is often financial stress
  • if over-spending during illness is a problem, consider:
    1. discarding credit cards
    2. having spouse, public trustee, temporarily in charge of finances
  • set goals at workplace
  • if unemployed:
    • take steps to get a job
    • take a course
    • do volunteer work
    • attend a day program
  • set goals/priorities for home projects

Community/Social

  • maintain or develop social ties. Social ties provide stimulation, emotional support and a source of meaning in one's life. They are so important that even the perception of having social ties is a crucial factor in increasing one's ability to cope with stress.
  • attend a community recreational centre
  • consider volunteer work in worthwhile causes
  • consider joining a manic-depressive support group, a social group, a religious organization
  • if there are difficulties relating to people, consider therapy

Intellectual/Personal Development

  • develop an interest and pursue it, e.g. reading books, newspapers, writing, archery, canoeing, gourmet cooking
  • looking for ideas in local newspapers, flyers, university continuing education courses

Spiritual

  • take time to do nothing - meditate, ponder
  • some people find walks in nature or reading inspirational writings, spiritual
  • others like to address spiritual needs through communal worship, religion

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APA Reference
Staff, H. (2008, November 18). Bipolar Recovery: Reconstructing A Balanced Lifestyle, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2020, June 6 from https://www.healthyplace.com/bipolar-disorder/articles/bipolar-recovery-reconstructing-a-balanced-lifestyle

Last Updated: May 16, 2013

Medically reviewed by Harry Croft, MD

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