Welcome to Management Monday! The day where we discuss one more strategy to use in our quest for better mental health.
Today's strategy: Down Time
We need to make sure we're giving our brains a chance to digest and release the stress we give them... and I'm not talking once a week. I'm talking give yourself a chance to breathe several times throughout the day....
Just had a staff meeting? Do a 5 minute breathing activity.
Have been playing barbies with your daughter for the past hour? You deserve a guided meditation. (and trust me, playing barbies with 5 year old girls can be stressful)
Just had a stressful phone call? Or got reprimanded by your boss? Do some neck and back stretches, or take a quick walk around the office.
Don't get me wrong- we still need those scheduled "me time's" when you get your hair or nails done, or better yet- a professional massage. But those don't happen often enough to release all that negative energy- nor do most of us have that kind of money lying around.
BUT, Taking time every day... Dr Nate would say between every activity... will help stave off the emotional breakdowns and give us a chance to even feel good at work.
Welcome to Management Monday! Where we discuss many ways to manage your mental health!
Today's strategy: Balance
I had to learn the hard way that a Bipolar life must be a balanced life. If I paid too much attention to one area of my life, it would spin me into an episode; sometimes manic, sometimes depression. This became the most evident when I would spend three or more hours on any one of my creative projects- usually I would go manic....
But, this applies to any one area. It is easy to have obsessive thoughts (and drift into an episode) when we don't allow our brains the freedom and the discipline to address several things. No, I don't mean all at once, either. Just give yourself a time limit for each activity/ necessity and stick to it.
Work, Church, Social, Creativity, keeping house, paying bills, hobbies, etc. You won't be able to address everything in one day, but giving yourself a time frame will not only reduce the chances of having an episode, but ultimately help you be more productive as well.
Welcome to Management Monday!... where we discuss various activities to help us manage our mental health!
Today's strategy: Stimulation
A Bipolar brain is a very chaotic one. There are always multiple thoughts going on at once... not to mention very deep and real emotions on top of those thoughts. To leave your brain alone to it's own devises is to repeat the same stale thought patterns, allowing the mental and emotional side effects to grow bigger and and bigger, eventually ...pushing you into an episode.
However, if we give stimulation- something new- for our brains to digest, we are able to gain better control over what goes on in our heads. The stale thoughts will be released.
It doesn't matter what type of stimulation you give, either. As long as its something new, we allow our brains to breathe, and our emotions to calm.
Welcome to Management Monday! Today is the day where I introduce a strategy to help manage your mental health- whether you have a mental illness like me, or not.
Today's strategy: Socialization
Without a doubt, having a social life can do wonders for your mood. It gets you out of the house, and validates you. Friends can sometimes serve as a therapy- letting you talk about the things that bother you, and gives ideas on how to overcome them....
But for someone with a mental illness, like Bipolar, it can do even more. When we're in a depressive rut, it becomes increasingly difficult to leave the house. We tend to isolate ourselves, which only further feeds the depression. Forcing ourselves to get out and be social can sometimes even out the moods a little so the depression won't be quite as bad. It might even re-set the mood button.
There's no guarantee that socialization can pull you out of depression... but it will remind you there is a world outside of you, and there are people who love and care about you.
It’s amazing what you can accomplish with the right mentality and attitude. Up till this year, I exercised only to lose weight... and I gained. This year, I bought an exercise bike and told myself “this is for my brain”. Consistent exercise has always been one of the most effective management strategies to keep me a bit more level-headed.
So, I started exercise, and am starting to learn about a healthier balance of what I eat... and guess what? I’ve lost 10 pounds!!!! It’s actually helping with my brain AND my body. The biggest change to make this happen?
I stopped stressing about the weight, and started focusing on my health. It’s a priority for me now. It’s working!!!
Welcome to Management Monday- where we introduce a concept to help manage a positive mental health.
Today's strategy: Meditation
To put it simply, Meditation is when you take time out of your day to simply focus on the now. When we think too much about the past or the future, it can cause anxiety and stress. And we all know what happens if there's too much of those things- our bodies and our brain begin to suffer....
There are many ways to meditate, and I believe there is no one correct way to do it. It all depends on what works for the individual. I mostly use an app that gives guided meditations. Another approach might be to take 5 minutes and focus on something in your surroundings. Take the time to touch it, smell it, involve all your senses. I've also heard of someone just looking out their window at a tree (or, if the weather is nice, lay down under said tree) and outline the tree in your mind.
Slowing things down and taking numerous breaks to meditate will guarantee a calmer, more present self.