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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.
healthy-apple-recipes
Wellness
Published Monday Nov 11, 2019 by Sara Lesher

4 Healthy Apple Recipes to Indulge Your Fall Cravings

Food
Recipes
Expert Advice

 

Autumn is the season of apple picking, pumpkin carving, and delicious holiday treats. Whether you’re searching for a delightful morning pick-me-up or your go-to seasonal salad, we’ve found four apple-featuring recipes that are yummy, healthy, and perfect for fall!

Breakfast

 

Cinnamon Apple Breakfast Quinoa

If you think quinoa for breakfast sounds a little strange, trust us, it’s a game-changer. This protein-packed, healthy treat is a great way to start your morning off strong. Not to mention, it’s gluten-free.

 

Photo credit: Simplyquinoa.com
 

1
Breakfast

 

Cinnamon Apple Breakfast Quinoa

If you think quinoa for breakfast sounds a little strange, trust us, it’s a game-changer. This protein-packed, healthy treat is a great way to start your morning off strong. Not to mention, it’s gluten-free.

 

Photo credit: Simplyquinoa.com
 

Lunch

 

Autumn Apple Salad with a Maple Vinaigrette

This salad is packed with so many different flavors, and they work in tasty harmony. It might be called the Autumn Apple Salad, but we want to eat it all year long.

 

Photo credit: Houseofyumm.com

2
Lunch

 

Autumn Apple Salad with a Maple Vinaigrette

This salad is packed with so many different flavors, and they work in tasty harmony. It might be called the Autumn Apple Salad, but we want to eat it all year long.

 

Photo credit: Houseofyumm.com

Dinner

 

Harvest Chicken Skillet with Sweet Potatoes, Brussels Sprouts, and Sautéed Apples

Sweet and savory, paleo and Whole30 approved, cooked in just one pan… ‘nuff said.

 

Photo credit: Wellplated.com
 

3
Dinner

 

Harvest Chicken Skillet with Sweet Potatoes, Brussels Sprouts, and Sautéed Apples

Sweet and savory, paleo and Whole30 approved, cooked in just one pan… ‘nuff said.

 

Photo credit: Wellplated.com
 

Dessert

 

Healthy Vegan Apple Crisp

This dessert is gluten-free, vegan, and delicious. It’s made with salted caramel cashew butter and maple syrup. YUM.

 

Photo credit: Veggiesdontbite.com
 

4
Dessert

 

Healthy Vegan Apple Crisp

This dessert is gluten-free, vegan, and delicious. It’s made with salted caramel cashew butter and maple syrup. YUM.

 

Photo credit: Veggiesdontbite.com
 

Sara Lesher About the Author Headshot
Written by
Sara Lesher
Marketing Content Associate
About the author
Spoiled by the San Diego sunshine, Sara’s hobbies include beaching, hiking, concert-going, and brewery-hopping. As MINDBODY’s Marketing Content Associate, she naturally loves reading and writing… so if you have any book recommendations, let her know. And just between us: she’s committed to health and wellness but loves a good taco (shoutout TJ Tacos in Escondido).