Today is a good day. I have learned to treasure my wellness days. I no longer try to be out of the house by 7am when it is not necessary. I do not try to run errands all day and stay out all day. By pacing myself, I have begun to have more wellness days and my episodes though frequent, do not last as long.
I pace myself and I have learned it is ok to take a break and just do nothing. It was hard to learn, but in the long run, it gives me time to get to know me and my bipolar: to evaluate my past days and realize the difference between me and the bipolar.
When I used to try to get everything done during the wellness time, I would stay busy making up for what I could not do during the episodes time. Now, I am learning to be in tune with my mind. Doing this helps me to realize when the switch has been turned on and I am going into mania or that the sadness is really going into depression.
By putting myself on a maintenance routine in the morning, it helps me make sure I take my meds. That is something that has been difficult to do consistently because I was always leaving the house early.
I used to live in a place that was dark and dreary, even on sunny days. I was always running out of the house as soon as I got up. When I would feel myself going into depression, I would grab my car keys and get out of the house, no matter how bummy I was looking. I had to get out into the light.
Now I live in a place where every room is bright all day. Even on cloudy days, every room is light enough that I do not have to turn on lights. It is amazing the difference daylight in the home makes. It helps get me from getting down as much as I used to.
Every morning I try to spend 15-30 minutes outside. It doesn’t matter if the sun is out or not. It is the natural light that matters.
Next time you catch yourself starting to feel down, depressed or getting sad and out of it, run outside and get into the natural light. Take a short walk, work in your garden. You might not feel like it, but force yourself and see what happens. You will feel better.