Bipolar disorder - Self care
What can I do to manage my symptoms?
You can learn to manage your symptoms by looking after yourself. Selfcare is how you take care of your diet, sleep, exercise, daily routine, relationships and how you are feeling.
Making small lifestyle changes can improve your wellbeing and can help your recovery. Routine helps many people with their mental wellbeing. It will help to give a structure to your day and may give you a sense of purpose. This could be a simple routine such as eating at the same time each day, going to bed at the same time each day and buying food once per week.
Your healthcare professionals should give you advice about exercise and diet and sleep. You can find more information about lifestyle changes in our ‘Good Health Guide’.
You could join a support group. A support group is where people come together to share information, experiences and give each other support.
You might be able to find a local group by searching online. The charity Bipolar UK have an online support group. They also have face to face support groups in some areas of the country. Their contact details are in here.
Rethink Mental Illness have support groups in some areas. You can find out what is available in your area if you follow this link.
Recovery colleges are part of the NHS. They offer free courses about mental health to help you manage your symptoms. They can help you to take control of your life and become an expert in your own wellbeing and recovery. You can usually self-refer to a recovery college. But the college may inform your care team.
Unfortunately, recovery colleges are not available in all areas. To see if there is a recovery college in your area you can use a search engine such as Google. Or contact Rethink Mental Illness Advice Service on 0300 5000 927.
Make a Wellness Recovery Action Plan (WRAP)
Learning to spot early signs of mania or depression is important in self-management. The idea of the WRAP is to help you stay well and achieve what you would like to. The WRAP looks at areas like how you are affected by your illness and what you could do to manage them. There are guides that can help with this. You can ask your healthcare professional to make one with you or ask them for a template of one.
There is more information about the WRAP in the further reading section in here.
Rethink Mental Illness has created ‘Staying Well with Bipolar’. This is a guide based on information from people who have or support someone with bipolar disorder. You can download it here.
Need practical advice & info? We can help.
Contact our Advice team about mental health & related issues
0300 5000 927 Monday - Friday 9.30am - 4pm, not including bank holidays