Recently, I’ve been struggling with significant aspects of mania. Although I am not officially diagnosed with bipolar disorder, my therapist and I have discovered that I experience periods of mania. Most significantly when I have to adjust to life changes, like moving back to college or when COVID first began. So I thought I would share 5 ways to create consistency during mania.
1. Creating a schedule
When I last met with therapists, we talked about how out of control I feel when I am manic. Part of this just comes with the dragon itself, but some of it comes out of the inability to keep myself on somewhat of a timeline. I can’t eat and sleep on time or work at a consistent pace. So what I recommend during times like this is to make a schedule as soon as possible.
For an example, here is how I currently run my day.
I still struggle to keep myself exactly to this schedule, but the idea is to try and create things you can control. I know for me personally have a consistent schedule keeps me grounded.
2. Take your medication at the same time every night.
(If you don’t take medication, that is totally ok! Just skip to the next step)
One of my biggest problems for me is that I don’t take my medications at the exact time every day, especially when I’m manic that could be as late as 3am in the morning.
I take a sedative at night, so if I don’t take my medications at the same time, I won’t sleep sleep which feeds the cycle. Even if you don’t take a sedative, it is still important to take your medications at the same time. It is important that your body isn’t wondering where those are.
3. Try to lay down and relax even if you can’t sleep.
I know you are probably saying “I can’t relax or sleep. That’s like part of being manic.” I completely get this. I was up until 3am the other night, but I definitely recommend it. to help you do this:
- Drink some sleepy time or calming tea.
- Listening to calm classic music while taking deep breaths.
- Do a guided relaxation to release tension. (My best friend is a music therapy major and she did this with me! It helped so much!)
4. Eat simple healthy meals and drink lots of water.
No matter what mental health issues you struggle with, healthy meals DO have a positive impact on you.
My recommendation is to make a list of healthy foods and snacks that you love. When you are hungry you can use that list as a resource.
I know that everyone is like #notreadingthisstep and honestly I would skip this step too if I were reading too. What I really mean is try to move your body at some point in the day. My girlfriend and I like to do HIIT workouts on youtube. There are about 20 minutes long and they are a great way to move and get any energy out. Here is a link to the girl we watch:
When I am manic, I find that when I move throughout the day I genuinely sleep better at night and feel more in control of my body and mine.
I hope that these 5 ways to create consistency during mania can be some help to any of you struggling. Please know that I am with you and that we will figure this out together.