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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.
Friends exercising together
Fitness
Published Thursday Jan 16, 2020 by Sara Lesher

What's Your Type? The Best Workout for Your Enneagram Personality Type 

Fitness
Motivation
Personal Growth

You may have heard of the Riso-Hudson Enneagram Type Indicator (or RHETI) test, one of many personality tests that can help us better understand ourselves. We've put together the best fitness classes for your Enneagram Type, so you can find workouts that fit you.

The Reformer

“The Rational, Idealistic Type: Principled, Purposeful, Self-Controlled, and Perfectionistic”
Fitness class: Barre 

Barre is known for small, precise movements, requiring focus and control. That’s why it’s the perfect exercise for Ones. You may not be able to change the world in a barre class, but you can definitely perfect your plie!  

1
The Reformer

“The Rational, Idealistic Type: Principled, Purposeful, Self-Controlled, and Perfectionistic”
Fitness class: Barre 

Barre is known for small, precise movements, requiring focus and control. That’s why it’s the perfect exercise for Ones. You may not be able to change the world in a barre class, but you can definitely perfect your plie!  

The Helper

“The Caring, Interpersonal Type: Demonstrative, Generous, People-Pleasing, and Possessive” 
Fitness class: Acroyoga
 
 
Acroyoga is an exercise you cannot do alone. It requires being absolutely in sync with a partner to maintain balance and achieve poses. This type of yoga is perfect for Twos, because they are always attentive to others and find joy in close, intimate relationships. Nothing says trust like letting someone balance you over their head!

2
The Helper

“The Caring, Interpersonal Type: Demonstrative, Generous, People-Pleasing, and Possessive” 
Fitness class: Acroyoga
 
 
Acroyoga is an exercise you cannot do alone. It requires being absolutely in sync with a partner to maintain balance and achieve poses. This type of yoga is perfect for Twos, because they are always attentive to others and find joy in close, intimate relationships. Nothing says trust like letting someone balance you over their head!

The Achiever

“The Success-Oriented, Pragmatic Type: Adaptive, Excelling, Driven, and Image-Conscious” 
Fitness class: Competitive Cycling 
 
Competitive Cycling is exactly what it sounds like—cycling with a touch of rivalry. These types of classes incorporate leaderboards and stats, so competitive people *cough cough—Threes* can strive to beat goals and outrank others.

3
The Achiever

“The Success-Oriented, Pragmatic Type: Adaptive, Excelling, Driven, and Image-Conscious” 
Fitness class: Competitive Cycling 
 
Competitive Cycling is exactly what it sounds like—cycling with a touch of rivalry. These types of classes incorporate leaderboards and stats, so competitive people *cough cough—Threes* can strive to beat goals and outrank others.

The Individualist

“The Sensitive, Withdrawn Type: Expressive, Dramatic, Self-Absorbed, and Temperamental” 
Fitness class: Yin yoga 
 
If you’re a Four, you probably run from the thought of group fitness. Fours tend to prefer doing things on their own (hence the “Individualist” title)
But Yin yoga allows you to focus on yourself, practicing meditation and long-held stretches to relax, self-reflect, and not be bothered.

4
The Individualist

“The Sensitive, Withdrawn Type: Expressive, Dramatic, Self-Absorbed, and Temperamental” 
Fitness class: Yin yoga 
 
If you’re a Four, you probably run from the thought of group fitness. Fours tend to prefer doing things on their own (hence the “Individualist” title)
But Yin yoga allows you to focus on yourself, practicing meditation and long-held stretches to relax, self-reflect, and not be bothered.

The Investigator

“The Intense, Cerebral Type: Perceptive, Innovative, Secretive, and Isolated” 
Fitness class: Pilates 
 
Investigators love knowledge and want to become experts at whatever they do. Pilates is complex, requiring ultimate focus and control over breathing and technique. So start studying, Fives, and head to your local Pilates studio to dive right in!

5
The Investigator

“The Intense, Cerebral Type: Perceptive, Innovative, Secretive, and Isolated” 
Fitness class: Pilates 
 
Investigators love knowledge and want to become experts at whatever they do. Pilates is complex, requiring ultimate focus and control over breathing and technique. So start studying, Fives, and head to your local Pilates studio to dive right in!

The Loyalist

“The Committed, Security-Oriented Type: Engaging, Responsible, Anxious, and Suspicious” 
Fitness class: Bikram Yoga 
 
Sixes love routines, and Bikram Yoga provides just that—a 90-minute series of consistent movements practiced at the same temperature and humidity at any studio that offers it. So wherever you go, there’s no surprises.

6
The Loyalist

“The Committed, Security-Oriented Type: Engaging, Responsible, Anxious, and Suspicious” 
Fitness class: Bikram Yoga 
 
Sixes love routines, and Bikram Yoga provides just that—a 90-minute series of consistent movements practiced at the same temperature and humidity at any studio that offers it. So wherever you go, there’s no surprises.

The Enthusiast

“The Busy, Fun-Loving Type: Spontaneous, Versatile, Distractible, and Scattered” 
Fitness class: Dance Fitness 
 
Nothing says fun-loving like dancing in a room full of strangers. Sevens love to take risks, be spontaneous, and get excited. Dance fitness classes can give them the perfect opportunity to get creative, express themselves, and have fun! 

7
The Enthusiast

“The Busy, Fun-Loving Type: Spontaneous, Versatile, Distractible, and Scattered” 
Fitness class: Dance Fitness 
 
Nothing says fun-loving like dancing in a room full of strangers. Sevens love to take risks, be spontaneous, and get excited. Dance fitness classes can give them the perfect opportunity to get creative, express themselves, and have fun! 

The Challenger

“The Powerful, Dominating Type: Self-Confident, Decisive, Willful, and Confrontational” 
Fitness class: Kickboxing 
 
If you’re an Eight, you aren’t someone to be messed with. Assert your dominance in a kickboxing class and feel the thrill of swinging punches, burning calories, and releasing that pent-up energy.

8
The Challenger

“The Powerful, Dominating Type: Self-Confident, Decisive, Willful, and Confrontational” 
Fitness class: Kickboxing 
 
If you’re an Eight, you aren’t someone to be messed with. Assert your dominance in a kickboxing class and feel the thrill of swinging punches, burning calories, and releasing that pent-up energy.

The Peacemaker

“The Easygoing, Self-Effacing Type: Receptive, Reassuring, Agreeable, and Complacent” 
Fitness class: Restorative Yoga 
 
Find your inner peace and harmony with restorative yoga, Nines. With slow movements and time for quiet reflection, you won’t have to worry about any disruptions. 

9
The Peacemaker

“The Easygoing, Self-Effacing Type: Receptive, Reassuring, Agreeable, and Complacent” 
Fitness class: Restorative Yoga 
 
Find your inner peace and harmony with restorative yoga, Nines. With slow movements and time for quiet reflection, you won’t have to worry about any disruptions. 

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).