It’s likely that lifestyle changes are needed, in order to stop the bipolar cycle.

  • Be mindful of what you ingest (take into your body)
    • Do not use alcohol, do not use recreational drugs
      • Stimulants can trigger mania
      • Depressants can trigger depression
      • Sleep disturbance is probable
      • Interactions with medication can be fatal
    • Caffeine, chocolate, carbohydrates, and processed foods can lead to poor mood
    • Limit sugar and fat, indulge in vegetables, fruit, and whole grain
    • Be careful and knowledgeable about which over the counter and prescribed medications can be dangerous for people with bipolar disorder
  • Spend time around people whom promote a tranquil (peaceful) mood
    • Helpful friends and family
    • Create new friendships by becoming active in the community
      • If you don’t know how to make friends, learn! Don’t be afraid to take some risks for fear of messing up. We all do at one point or another! What matters most is where your heart is.
    • Join a support group for people with bipolar disorder
  • Establish a healthy routine
    • Make sure to sleep a healthy amount of time
      • Try to go to bed and wake up at about the same time every day
    • Try to exercise about a half hour per day, five days a week
    • Draw up a daily schedule to add structure to your life
      • Try to establish a pattern, even through disturbance in mood
  • Reduce stress
    • Do something that’s pleasing to at least one of your senses
      • For example, listening to good music, or taking a shower
      • Satisfy the need to play
      • Do something for no other reason than that it’s fun
    • Adopt a yoga, meditation, or breathing exercise routine
  • Be patient in finding the right treatment
    • Don’t sabotage the process by using alcohol and drugs
    • Take medication as prescribed
  • Engage in therapy
  • Research the signs, symptoms, and treatment approaches
    • Learn about how to constructively deal with the many types of stress, which might set off an episode
    • Work with your doctor to identify your own early warning signs. These might include, but are not limited to…
      • Lack of sleep
      • Change of season
      • Problems with money
      • Difficulties at work or school
      • Arguing with a good friend or family member
    • Create a list of productive coping habits to draw from if your mood is becoming unstable. Examples include…
      • Changing the activity in your environment
      • Adding light to your surroundings
      • Contacting a friend or family member for support
      • Sleeping at least eight hours per night
      • Decreasing alcohol, sugar, and caffeine ingestion
      • Exercising (a moderate amount)
      • Putting down your thoughtsin a journal
      • Doing something fun
      • Attending a support group
      • If severe, contacting your provider
    • Draw up an emergency plan for when safety is an issue. This typically includes…
      • Which medications tend to be effective for you
        • Also, which medications you currently take, and at what doses
      • Whose care you feel most comfortable with
      • People who you authorize to make decisions for you in times of crisis
        • And what symptoms indicate a crisis
      • Emergency contacts
      • An explanation of any other significant health problems

Sources: http://www.mayoclinic.org, http://www.webmd.com, http://www.helpguide.org,