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bipolar mental health wellness tips
Wellness
Published Monday Sep 09, 2019 by Paula Hoss

I Have Bipolar Disorder and Here’s How Wellness Saved My Life

Personal Growth
Expert Advice

The first time I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, I sat across from my psychiatrist and watched her draw a wavy line on a piece of paper.
 
“These,” she said, “are your moods.”
 
The line immediately made me think of the ebb and flow of calm waves in a harbor. I cocked my head to the side and thought, “That doesn’t seem so bad.”
 
Then she reached for a thicker pen and began drawing again. This time the waves were bigger, the peaks much higher, and the valleys dismally lower. The bay turned into a violent ocean, whipping debris from all the ships stranded at sea.
 
“These,” she corrected, “are your moods when you have bipolar disorder.”
 
This simple illustration landed hard.
 
It explained the days of elation, like I could conquer the world. It also helped me understand the dismal depression that I often felt. Those waves explained why one moment, I could be charging hundreds of dollars on plane flights and then be suicidal just hours later.
 
I’ve lived with bipolar disorder for almost two decades now. Like many chronic illnesses, there are days where it’s seemingly unbearable. There have been moments when I’ve been convinced that my brain was broken beyond repair. But, more than that, there have been stretches of months where life is good. Where I’ve built a family, a career, a life that I love.
 
Trust me, my path to wellness has been a journey. Here are a few tips I’ve learned along the way that have helped me manage my mental health: 

 

Get a diagnosis. 

It’s easy to disregard our mental health symptoms as “having a bad day” or as “being too emotional.” If your mental health is impacting your daily life, I suggest seeing a specialist for a diagnosis. A specialist has experience with the nuances of different mental health issues and can provide you with more effective treatments than a general practitioner.

 

Find someone you can vent to. 

Perhaps it’s coffee with a friend, a heart-to-heart with a trusted family member, or (my favorite) a weekly session with a licensed counselor. Maybe it’s a combination of all of those. Either way, find someone that you can trust and confide in on a regular basis.

 

Move your body in a way that feels good to you. 

Find what feels good for you in this season and go with it. It could be walking your dog. Powerlifting. Perhaps it’s swimming laps or playing soccer. Studies have shown that regular exercise helps increase your brain’s serotonin production, so try to exercise 3-5 times a week.

 

Find your triggers. 

A mental illness trigger is something that tends to make your symptoms worse. For me, it’s lack of sleep. For other people, it can be alcohol, spending too much time on social media, or perhaps a toxic person from their past. Take some time to learn what your triggers are and work hard to navigate around them.
 
At the end of the day, I encourage you to remember that mental illness is a diagnosable disorder. It is not a lack of personal discipline, an inability to shift to a more positive perspective, or a weakness of character. All illnesses can benefit from wellness practices such as movement, meditation, and self-care. Often, though, these practices must be balanced with professional medical supervision and medications. Repeat after me: there’s no shame in my SSRI game.
 

Want more mental health and wellness talk? Follow Paula on Instagram at @paulatamarahoss to read more about her story and tips! 

Paula Hoss
Written by
Paula Hoss
Founder | CLN&DRTY Natural Skincare
About the author
The founder of CLN&DRTY Natural Skincare, Paula Hoss is a mental health and substance abuse recovery advocate. Featured in Beauty Independent and Brit + Co, she lives in Massachusetts with her husband, two children, and a flock of chickens.
map with cities
The Latest
Published Friday Aug 07, 2020 by Denise Prichard

Top 7 Cities for Virtual Yoga (and How to Book Classes)

Virtual Classes
Fitness
COVID-19

It’s safe to say, the way we conquer our daily routines has changed drastically over the last few months. The way we perform our jobs, how we socialize—even the way we workout—have flipped from in-person, group settings to virtual platforms to keep us safe and healthy. There's no denying that navigating this new normal has certainly come with its ups and downs, to say the least. In fact, a recent survey revealed one-third of Americans said this pandemic has caused more stress and anxiety in their lives, which isn’t surprising given the circumstances.  

With anxiety levels at a high, people need relaxation, self-care, and movement more than ever. Enter yoga. 

Yoga has long been touted for its amazing ability to calm the mind and help folks stay in-tune with their body—which is probably why more and more people are embracing an at-home practice.  

Whether you’re looking for a powerful Vinyasa class to help kickstart your morning or yearning for a gentle, evening flow to wind down after a busy workday, taking a yoga class is now more accessible than ever. With 91% of group fitness studios offering or planning to offer live stream and/or on-demand classes, those who are ready to get their asana on have plenty of yoga classes to try all over the country. 

While there’s no place like om, most of us could go for a little virtual vacation right now. I know I could! Ready to get a taste of what yoga classes are like all over the country? Here are the U.S. cities with the most virtual yoga classes available.  
 

1.    Chicago 


It seems poetic that Chicago hits our number one spot on this list because it was the first city in America that was introduced to yoga back in 1893. Swami Vivekananda presented yoga at the World Parliament of Religions and made a speech on the concept of body, spirit, and mind. It seems the presentation made a lasting impression on the city. 
Try getting your Zen on with one of these studios: 
    •    The Lab Yoga 

    •    Bottom Line Yoga 

    •    Bare Feet Power Yoga 


Book a virtual yoga class in Chicago 
 
 


2.    Washington, D.C. 


Everyone knows that Washington DC is where you can visit some of the world’s most famous monuments, memorials, and museums. But you may be surprised to learn that it also offers one of the most robust libraries of virtual classes to help yogis sample some classes at the nation’s capital.  

Stop, drop, and yoga with one of these studios: 
    •    Yoga District 

    •    Yoga Heights 

    •    The Yoga Shala 



Book a virtual yoga class in Washington, D.C.   

 


3.    Houston 


Houston is one of the most culturally diverse cities in America—in fact, you can folks speaking 145 different languages and thousands of restaurants serving up food from more than 70 countries. If those facts have you working up quite an appetite, feel free to indulge. They also have plenty of virtual yoga classes available to help you torch some calories.  

Work up a sweat with one of these studios:  
    •    Shaka Power Yoga 

    •    Yoga Athletex 

    •    The Atrium 



Book a virtual yoga class in Houston  
 
 


4.    Philadelphia 


Did you know one of the first businesses to open in the City of Brotherly Love was a brewery in 1683? If you’re familiar with the ever-evolving trends of yoga, then you have most likely heard of or participated in beer yoga sesh. Get ready to try yoga the Philly way by cracking a cold one and doing some downward dogs in the comfort of your own home at the end of the day.  

Get ready for the beer and yoga to flow with these studios:  
    •    Three Queens Yoga 

    •    Tuck Barre and Yoga 

    •    Good Karma Yoga and Barre 
 



Book a virtual yoga class in Philadelphia 
 
 


5.    New York City 


New York City is home to 8.4 million people, making it the most densely populated city in the entire nation. With that many people, you know there must be a ton of yogis looking to relax from the hustle and bustle of the big city. Start spreading the news and flowing with some of the most dedicated yogis in the U.S.—there are a ton of virtual yoga classes to choose from in the Big Apple.  

Get in shape in a New York minute with these studios: 
    •    The Shala Yoga House 

    •    bode nyc 

    •    Sacred Brooklyn 
 



Book a virtual yoga class in New York City 
 
 


6.    Columbus 


Get ready to make some virtual yoga neighbors. Did you know that Columbus, Ohio is considered the heart of the country? The reason for that is because nearly half of the America’s residents live within a 600-mile radius of the city. Ready to put your heart and soul into your at-home yoga practice? Then check out what this city has to offer virtually.  

Strike a pose with one of these studios: 
    •    Bexley Yoga 

    •    Yoga on High
    •    GoYoga 



Book a virtual yoga class in Columbus
 
 


7.    San Diego 


San Diego is known as one of the happiest cities in America—mainly because of the beautiful weather, picturesque beaches, and the abundance of yoga classes available. While a vacation to this area may not be in the books for this year, you can certainly flow with the best of them by booking a virtual class at a San Diego studio. 

Stay classy and sweaty with these studios:  
    •    Honey Yoga 

    •    b3yond yoga 

    •    Union Yoga 



Book a virtual class in San Diego 
 
 


This list is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to all the yoga studios offering virtual classes to help you stay fit, healthy, and calm during the COVID-19 pandemic. We hope these offerings inspire you to either start a new at-home practice or are helping you seasoned yogis continue your path to wellness. Interested in seeing what other cities are hosting a bevy of online yoga classes? The options on Mindbody are endless—literally!   
 

denise prichard
Written by
Denise Prichard
Marketing Content Specialist
About the author
Denise Prichard is a certified yoga instructor (RYT-200) and an experienced content marketing professional with a penchant for writing compelling copy within the health, wellness and beauty industries. When she isn't writing or editing, you can find her teaching yoga classes, at a spin class or hanging out with her rescue pups.