When you start to feel the subtle signs of a depressive downswing, employ these simple strategies to lessen its adverse effects.
Managing bipolar disorder is a constant balancing act. As a former ballet dancer, I know a good deal about balancing. At first glance, you might think that ballet requires significant control of the body – and it does – however, there is another element beyond control that is necessary to make it look effortless. That element is surrender. Once you learn the technique, ballet is all about letting go and surrendering to the movement. I’ve found that a similar balance of control and surrender is necessary for managing my bipolar symptoms.
On good days, this balance comes quite naturally. But on bad days, it is much more difficult. On bad days with bipolar disorder, I wake up and feel “pre-performance jitters” – the awareness that I am expected to “perform” today, and while I’ve practiced for weeks, I’m still shaky on some parts. This idea of performance is what I feel on sick days when I have to leave my home – either being at work or merely engaging in small talk at a social gathering. Feeling the need to perform is what kicks my control into overdrive, and then everything becomes forced. I have also realized that this need to control and perform can set me up for depression. Read More: