Hello My Bipolar Mind Readers! My name is Amy, and I’m an alcoholic with bipolar 2! Samantha has asked me a couple times in the past to write for the blog, and with working less due to COVID-19, I am happy to finally have the time to do so. You can read more about me in my bio!
With all the insanity that is going on, she and I thought it would be great to put together something to help readers cope with this alternate reality. Below are some more suggestions to follow up on her original post that we brainstormed on together and she wrote. I hope this helps you in your time of need; best wishes and good health to you all!
Positive Self Talk
My sponsor says the best way to combat a negative thought in your head is to say a positive one, OUT LOUD! Talking out loud is not “crazy;” there is actual science behind this, as it helps to reprogram the pathways in your brain.
The thing I say is “I am a beloved child of God” since that works for me. You can find your own mantra….here are a list of some great ones. If none of these work for you, make up your own, or google “mantra” or “positive affirmations” to discover what helps you!
Something Samantha and I often do to ground ourselves is to say the ABCs with things we are grateful for. Start like A for Air, B for Baths, C for Courage, D for Dinner, etc! You could also substitute Gratitude for a multitude of other subjects, like Animals, Song Titles, Types of Cars, and so on. The point is to ground and distract yourself while thinking of other happy things!
If you have a Higher Power, no matter what you choose to call him/her/it, now is a great time to build your relationship! I talk to my Higher Power, whom I choose to call God, in a frank, honest and loving way. My Higher Power has my back, and I try to take actions that are the Next Right Thing in honor of my Higher Power. I find a great deal of strength come from God, which helps me do things I thought otherwise were impossible.
Spending quality time with your loved ones is important, but what about quality time with yourself? If you make plans with yourself, those are just as valid as if you make plans with others. You are the one you spend the most time with: why not show yourself the same love and respect you show others? Try spending 30 minutes a day for one week, doing something you love to do alone and see how it improves the rest of your day!
Laughter is the Best Medicine
Whether it’s a funny meme from Facebook, a comedian on Netflix or sharing a laugh over the phone with a friend, laughter really is the best medicine! Science (to the rescue again!) shows us that people who laugh are not only happier but are also healthier. I love comedians like Eddie Izzard and Margaret Cho…who are your favorites? (Post names and links, if possible, in comments below!)
Share Streaming Services
What are friends for, but to help each other out in hard times? Most streaming services offer family accounts on multiple devices. Spotify, Netflix, Hulu, Disney Plus, to name a few, all allow you to set up separate profiles under the same paid account! This way, you can have access to more TV, movies and music while stuck at home and still pay less.
Listen/Dance to Music
Music is a powerful motivator, soother and energizer. I found myself listening to one of Samantha’s playlists on Spotify the other night and moving to the music. It had been weeks since I danced, and I realized, my body needed to MOOOOOOVE!! So turn up the beats and get your GROOVE on!!
Get Dressed and Make Your Bed
It seems simple enough, but when I have no routine and nowhere to go particularly, it can be hard for me to get dressed nicely and make my bed neatly. It’s far too tempting to stay in pajamas and lounge around in my comfy bed! However, if I make myself do these things, I feel better about myself and can have a more productive day! Then, at the end of the night, I can pull back the covers and go to sleep, knowing I put forth my best effort! I first started doing this after watching this video, and it has made a ton of difference for me!
In conclusion, there are many ways to take care of yourself and not only survive this time but to thrive in it! Please comment below any other ideas you come up with to help your fellow readers and this author as well. We all are in this together, and, even though we may be social distancing, we need each other more than ever!