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What I Do to Feel Good on the ‘Bad Days’ With Bipolar Disorder

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Some days, I wake up and can tell it’s going to be a bad day. Those are the mornings when I can feel it down deep in my bones that this day will not be good, unless I make it happen. Those are the days I know I have to mentally prepare myself to be happy. Doing so is difficult at times. I’d be lying if I dared to say all I have to do is decide, “Today will be a good day,” or “I choose to be happy.”

• What is Bipolar disorder?

While I do believe positivity is crucial for having a happy life and being mentally stable, there’s far more to it for those of us with mental illness. It takes more for us to strive, rather than simply to decide it so.

The first crucial step is to figure out what tactics you have that make you feel better. For some, it’s sleeping. For others, it is shopping, and for others, it might be exercising. Personally for me, I have had 10 years to learn the triggers and methods of how to prevent them or nip them quick.

So here’s what I do to feel good on the bad days of my bipolar disorder:

1. I start my morning with exercise. This is very difficult and takes dedication to keep it up, but oh boy, does it work.

2. After my workout, I shower and actually fix my hair and makeup. It feels good to dress up sometimes.

3. I go to work telling myself, “Today can be a good day.”

4. I search for a positive quote that speaks to me. I write it down, with a goal in mind to reread it often.

5. I keep to myself. Believe it or not, I’ve learned I can be my own worst enemy. Keeping to myself helps me to monitor my interactions with others so I don’t annoy or piss someone off.

6. I read my favorite books during breaks or read funny memes. This gets my mind off things that might be bothering me.

7. Lastly, I step back and take a breather if I need to.

But guess what? On other days when I can sense it, I sleep in. I pull my hair back in a ponytail. I opt for zero ounces of makeup. I eat whatever the heck I want! It’s called balance. Anyone with this illness knows there has to be a lot of balance to remain stable and balanced ourselves.

I’ve learned a lot, but I’m also always learning new ways to turn a bad day around. I hope this will help someone else to feel motivated, even on those days when it feels like there is no reason at all to make it a good day.

Originally published: July 29, 2016
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