The sun is shining, the birds are chirping, everyone is smiling—and suddenly I hate all of it! Bipolar depression strikes again. Here is what I do to try to return to mood stability and enjoy the day.
The Suddenness of Bipolar Mood Episodes
have those beautiful, bright days where you wake up … and you hate everything!
You know those days: the sun is shining, the dogs are barking, traffic is light
on the way to work, and everyone is smiling and saying, “Good morning!”—and you
hate all of it!
The sun is in your eyes, the dogs are annoying, some guy cuts you off in traffic, and everyone at work is irritating.
the day before, life was great! You were smiling and having a great day, too.
All things seemed to be going your way. But then went to bed and woke up today.
you are depressed.
and welcome to the world of Jessica.
There is no rhyme or reason for me to feel this way—it just happens. It’s one of the things about bipolar that does not seem bearable sometimes. I am diagnosed with bipolar II, so I am not sure how long this depression will last—Will it be a day or a week? How long before I cycle out of it?
questions never have a clear answer, but I can help myself try to get through
such tough times. Here are a few things I do to jump-start my way out of
#1 Examining What I’m Eating
am I eating and how much am I eating?
These two questions are vital to how I am feeling.
be honest: for the first few days of a depressive episode, all I want to do is
eat. Not the healthy stuff, either. I want sugar, greasy burgers, and salty
want to eat these foods nonstop.
do feel terrible after eating all of this food, but do I stop? No.
am depressed, I do not care how terrible I feel.
I realize what I am doing, I change my eating habits. Eating healthy foods
really makes me feel better. I eat fruits, veggies, and healthy proteins. Don’t
get me wrong—I still eat a lot—but it’s whole foods and such. You can’t
overdose on fruit, can you?!
I eat right, my body feels better; and when my body feels better, my mind will
not as quickly as I would like, but it gets there.
#2 Correcting My Sleep—My Way
know, I know. We hear it all of the time. But it’s true: Getting too much sleep
or not enough sleep can really be bad for those of us with bipolar. For me, sleep
is the key to jump-starting my way out of this hole of depression.
am depressed, I can’t sleep at night. I toss and turn, and I wake up so tired.
So tired that I feel sluggish all day. It feels like I can’t shake the
sleepiness. I get home and I take a nap for a couple hours or more. This
sleeping pattern does nothing to help me. All those studies and reports and
such are right. But I have to go about it a little differently.
So, what I do to combat this is I stay up a little later than usual to make sure I am good and tired. This usually helps me sleep through the night and get better sleep. If this does not work, I take medication that has been prescribed to me to help me finally catch those z’s. Once I get a few good nights of sleep, I am definitely feeling better.
#3 Ugh—Exercise … (But It Does Help!)
am not one to exercise. I just never have been the athletic sort. I would start
new programs, and then I would stop for one reason or another. I have read
articles and studies that suggest exercising is a great benefit for dealing
with bipolar. Even my psychiatrist has asked me if I exercise. I always said
no. I am not a total couch potato, but I don’t purposely move my body in any way
… until recently.
started to do yoga—and I really do feel better mentally. I am doing a 30-day
challenge. This helps me stay on track.
I am wearing myself out, which, in turn, helps me sleep.
mind feels more alive and active.
the old adage says, “A body in motions stays in motion.” Once I am done doing
yoga for the day, I am more likely to keep moving and doing. This makes me feel
like I am accomplishing chores, which puts me in a better mood.
#4 Time, Effort, and the Drudgery of Bipolar Depression
are just a few of the strategies I follow to kick-start my mind and get out of
a depressive episode. Yes, it does take time … and I know that these things are
good for me mentally and physically—whether I’m depressed or not.
can leave us so down that we don’t want to get out of bed, take a shower, or do
anything at all. Sometimes I must make myself do these things. I make myself
get out of bed, take a shower, and show up for life.
it’s not that easy for everyone, or for every episode.
#5 Seek Support If Something Isn’t Working for You
attitude and emotions disturb not only me but also those around me. I try my
best to deal with my issues, but I do know that I can count on people around me
to help me if I need it.
It is also extremely important to continue to take your medication as prescribed. If you feel like it’s not working, please contact your doctor right away. Always take care of yourself and be watchful of how you are feeling.
Jessica Taylor lives in the Tampa Bay area. She has an MBA from Western Governors University and a BS in accounting from the University of South Florida. She was diagnosed with bipolar II in 2016, at age 35. She has been with the love of her life for almost two decades. A corporate accountant who found her passion for this career in 2004, Jessica is also an avid outdoorsman. She loves Jesus and spending time with her family. Her hope is to shine a light on living with bipolar from what she has learned.
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