Lifestyle Changes

Developing healthy routines may help you stick to your treatment plan. Keeping a mood diary may also help.

change patterns and behaviors to help manic depression symptoms

Healthy lifestyle choices and bipolar disorder

A bipolar disorder diagnosis may be overwhelming at first, but it doesn’t have to keep you from getting the most out of your life. Once you have started working with your doctor to manage your symptoms, there are other things you can do that may help you feel better about yourself and help you stay on your treatment plan. Developing healthy routines in your life may be a positive first step.

  • Get regular sleep. Disturbed sleep can trigger mood episodes. Do your best to go to sleep and wake up at the same time each day
  • Eat regular meals and get regular exercise. You may find that exercise can be a great stress reliever for you. Talk with your doctor about developing an exercise plan
  • Reduce stress. People with bipolar disorder may find that an episode of depression or mania might start right after they have been under more stress than usual
  • Take medication regularly. If your health care professional has prescribed medicine for you as part of your treatment plan, be sure to take it at the same time every day. Having a routine may make it easier to remember to take your medication as prescribed
  • Get help for substance abuse. People with bipolar disorder may be more likely to use and abuse alcohol or other drugs. This can trigger episodes of illness or make your episodes last longer. If you think you may have a problem with drugs or alcohol, talk to your health care professional about effective ways to treat these issues

Tracking your progress

You may find it helpful to keep a Mood and Goal Tracking Diary  (PDF). Keeping track of how you are feeling and sharing that information with your health care professional can let him or her know just how well your treatment plan is working. There is another potential benefit to tracking your moods as well. By writing down how you are feeling, you may be surprised at the progress you are making by staying on your treatment plan. Tracking your moods can be a good motivator for you.