Dr Danny Smith, University of Glasgow, has suggested 20 tips to follow to beat bipolar.
1. Keep a mood diary: monitor and record your mood, energy and anxiety levels every day
2. Eat a healthy balanced diet (oily fish, fruit and veg and not too much saturated fat)
3. Avoid recreational drugs
4. Avoid gambling
5. Drink alcohol only in moderation
6. Exercise regularly and try to walk rather than drive or take the bus
7. Learn some anxiety management/relaxation techniques and practice them every day
8. Make a list of the pros and cons of taking medication
9. Make a list of the pros and cons of not taking medication
10. If you are taking medication, make a plan for how you will remember to take it every day
11. Have a regular bedtime routine – go to bed at the same time every night and wake up at the same time every morning (including weekends)!
12. Aim for 8 hours sleep per night
13. Get to know your early signs of relapse (depression and mania)
14. Enlist the help of relatives/carers in spotting early signs of relapse
15. Make a plan with relatives/carers for how to get help sooner rather than later
16. Build a social network of family and friends who you know will look out for you
17. When feeling low, seek out the company of other people and make an effort to do something that you know usually makes you feel better (eg, exercise, get some fresh air, meet a close friend)
18. When you have an impulse to start an ambitious new project, write down your plans and re-visit them in 24 hours (they might not seem like such a great idea)!
19. Recognise the potential advantages of having bipolar disorder (energy, creativity, productivity, etc).
20. Acknowledge that you have a problem with mood swings but don’t let bipolar disorder define you and get on with your life.