5 tips for getting unstuck.
Do you ever feel stuck? Like bipolar disorder has your feet encased in concrete?
Yep, me too.
Bipolar disorder can make it feel like you’re frozen in place, unable to move forward. But it doesn’t have to be that way. There are things you can do to stay positive and motivated, even when mental illness threatens to bring you down.
Here are a few things I do to keep moving forward despite my diagnosis.
Remember what you’re fighting for
No matter what curveballs that bipolar disorder throws at you, don’t forget about why you’re fighting.
You keep going for your dreams, your goals, and for a brighter life. Bipolar disorder may make it feel like every step forward is two steps back. But know this, you don’t have to stay where you are. Not now, not ever.
I fight for my family, my friends, and my readers. I fight because I want a better life and because I want to show you what’s possible. Remembering the reasons for my fight keeps me motivated.
If times get tough, and your motivation is fading, think about the future you want. Always have faith in yourself and believe things can improve.
The power is in you.
Find a support system of others who understand what you’re going through
Navigating bipolar disorder is a complex and draining process. When you have a supportive network of family or friends , the journey gets much easier.
You’ll want to include people who understand your illness. You can find individuals walking the same path in support groups and online communities. Many love The Mighty or mental-illness-themed Facebook groups.
Your support system can provide understanding when others in your life struggle to grasp what you’re going through. Kindred spirits are priceless for helping you stay in the fight. Their encouragement and validation will help you focus on your goals.
A big hug (real or virtual) from a person who loves and gets you is one of the best gifts. The support can help you keep your hope alive.
Get involved in activities that make you feel good
When bipolar has you feeling stuck, staying positive and making progress feels impossible.
To break free, take helpful steps that will shift your mindset from jaded to joyful. One option is to get involved in activities that make you feel good and help take your mind off of negative thoughts.
Doing something creative, like painting or drawing, can help express your emotions. As you create art, you also feel a satisfying sense of accomplishment. I love writing. Stringing words together to create characters and worlds fills me with power to keep going.
Physical activities, such as going for a run or playing sports, will give you a burst of energizing endorphins.
When I work in my yard, I get two benefits. One, I put my body in motion. Two, I reconnect with nature. Both help to get me out of my head so I feel less stuck.
Rest is important, but so is movement. Remember not to underestimate the power of exercise in helping you get out of a funk. Even a brisk five-minute walk can lift your spirits and stir your energy.
Be patient with yourself
It’s essential to be patient with yourself when dealing with bipolar disorder.
Progress may happen slowly, but it will happen.
We all have bad days and seasons, but the goal is to keep going. Find what works for you and discard what doesn’t. It may take some trial and error before you find solutions that work for you.
When you learn to be patient with yourself, you’ll see ways to move forward despite life’s unexpected roadblocks.
I’ll admit I struggle with this. I want to take gigantic steps forward, but that’s not always possible. When I feel like I’m not getting anywhere, I look back at where I started. I may only be a few steps ahead, but I’ve still made progress. We should celebrate all our wins , no matter how small.
Remember, the journey of a thousand miles starts with one step.
Seek professional help if needed
Dealing with a mental illness can be overwhelming and intimidating. Don’t panic, because there is always hope.
Many times, you’ll be able to ride out the storm and start again. At other times, things may stay dark for weeks or more. Bipolar medications can stop working or need dosage tweaks. If you’ve been feeling off for a while, reach out to your doctor.
Seeking professional help can make a world of difference. Talking to a medical profession may sound daunting, but with their help, you can get unstuck and live again. Therapists can also help you learn better coping skills instead of turning to self-harm or substance abuse.
Never give up
It’s easy to feel like giving up when you have bipolar disorder.
Never forget that there are things you can do to keep moving forward, even on your darkest days. Keep these tips in mind:
- Remember why you’re fighting
- Build a support system of understanding friends
- Get involved in activities that make you feel good
- Be patient with yourself
- Seek professional help if needed
These five tips will help you get through the tough times and come out stronger on the other side.
What tricks help you get unstuck? Please share your thoughts in the comments.
Until next time, keep fighting.