It’s interesting thinking back to all the times when my bipolar was unstable. There are many reasons why I cycle one way or another (mania or depression), but the biggest factor (in my experience) has been my nutrition/fitness.
Here’s a little bit of background on my disorder:
- I currently take lamictal (mood stabilizer) and trazodone (antidepressant to help with insomnia) daily. I have taken almost every medication on the market, but this is what works for me right now.
- My medications help me to function and focus, which helps me to have the energy to exercise.
- My disorder affects everyone in my life, not just me. For example, my boyfriend (whom I live with) sees my mood go up and down every day, and is always the one who takes the “hit” when I am upset or depressed. He also has to deal with my mania when I am up until 4 a.m. He is extremely supportive, and he actually helps me to be more cautious of those around me.
When I am feeling manic, cardio is the best thing for me. I have a lot of energy, and usually have difficulty relaxing and sleeping, so it’s important to get my heart rate up. This way, I get rid of the energy and I am able to sleep. Plus it’s awesome, because I am able to stay fit! As opposed to depression, when it’s nearly impossible for me to exercise.
This is where yoga comes in.
Yoga has been a life-saver for me! How I got through life without it, I have no idea. I tried yoga for my first time in 2013, and not only did I feel great physically, I felt great mentally. The yoga I do is perfect because I am able to go to a “happy place” mentally, but also get my sweat on. Because of this, it’s good for when I am depressed OR manic!
I must note that it’s important to wear quality active wear when doing yoga. Too many times have I been in a class where either I was wearing see-through pants, or my yogi friends were. Not cool. You want to be comfortable during yoga, so wearing clothes that fit well is really important too. I make sure to wear Katie K Active all-inclusive active wear during all my workouts! The pants, shorts, and shirts are soft, cute, moisture-wicking, and not see through! 😉
Visit KatieKActive.com and use code LYNDSAY25 for 25% off your order + FREE shipping (I receive a portion of purchases made using my code)! The shorts are brand new this spring/summer (2016) and they’re amazing.
How Yoga Has Helped My Bipolar:
I stated what fitness I like to do for bipolar, but I’ll get a little more vulnerable with how it’s helped me. I’ve been doing yoga recently and truly found a passion for it, so that’s my fitness of choice. I know for many people with bipolar, yoga isn’t enough– they need that fast-paced cardio. But for me, it’s perfect, no matter the mental state I’m in.
Since starting yoga, my moods have been more stable. Usually I am extreme one way or the other, but it’s sort of like yoga is my daily way to stay within the “normal” range (whatever normal is for you). When I start my day with yoga, I have a fabulous day! I feel calm, centered, happy, and clear. I feel awesome because I got my exercise in, but I also feel awesome because my mind feels clear and free.
By adding in yoga with a healthy diet, I have learned to better control and manage my bipolar disorder. It’s a difficult disorder to manage, but I cannot stress enough how important nutrition and fitness are for overall, optimal health.
- What is your favorite fitness?
- Have you noticed a change in your mental health through your healthy, active lifestyle?
May is Mental Health Month.
Thank you for reading!
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Deborah @ Confessions of a Mother Runner
I think Yoga helps anyone’s mood. I’ve recently gotten into hot yoga and really look forward to it. Nothing helps my mood elevate more than a run or good kick boxing sessions. Love my endorphin rush!
Yes I agree! I didn’t mean to say it only helps people with bipolar, but it definitely helps me a lot! And pretty much everyone who does it haha. I haven’t tried hot yoga yet!! And yes I soo agree! 🙂
you’re awesome. I love your honesty!
Aw thank you so much!!! I really really appreciate that 🙂 You’re awesome too girl! <3
Jessica (Anchored in CLE & Jessica Gets Fit)
Seriously love this post. I need to do yoga more. Do you just do yours at the Fit Lab? i want to go to classes out here but they can be expensive. My gym offers them, but only on Sundays at 8am 🙁
Thank you so much Jess! I really appreciate that <3 I do yoga at The Fit Lab on Friday mornings, and then there is a yoga studio around the block from my apartment! Monthly memberships for yoga are expensive here too :/ like at least $125 a month haha.
Thanks for sharing your story. I think it’s awesome that you found an outlet for BPD. Your boyfriend sounds like a great guy too. I really love doing yoga now that I have been practicing daily. And when I skip it, I miss it and want to “stop drop and yoga” where I am! LOL When I started exercising consistently in 2012, running and lifting is was helped snap me out of my funk. It gave me my confidence back. And in a way, I got back my own identity too.
That’s amazing Mary!!! I’m so happy for you <3 That's sort of where I'm at right now- trying to find my own identity. My boyfriend is definitely wonderful- I'm very lucky! It helps that we've known each other for 21 years! Haha. I appreciate that people read my journey with bipolar as it's a vulnerable one!
Hey! I nominated you for a Liebster Award! Check out my post about it 🙂 http://flexandshoutfitness.com/2014/05/08/the-liebster-award-and-the-winners-are/
I’m so glad I followed IDEAFIT’s tweet and came across your blog. While there are so many healthy living bloggers out there (including myself) you certainly present a whole new perspective on health. It’s awesome that you’ve opened up about the illness you have to deal with here and the ways you can use fitness to help the situation. I’m a group fitness instructor and personal trainer, so of course, I believe getting movement can fix or help so many problems in someone’s life.
Looking forward to keeping track of your journey.
I really, really appreciate that! I originally wanted to blog about only healthy living (like nutrition and fitness), but my mental health is a part of healthy living, and I find myself talking about it a lot! Like you said, movement can really impact so many things in our lives.
That’s really awesome that you’re a group fitness instructor and personal trainer! I saw you’re in SF, I’m in LA! Are you originally from the East coast?
Looking forward to following you, as well! Thanks again Ashley! 🙂
My daughter takes Vyvanse for ADD, we saw great results initially so we shall see. I fully believe that mind-body exercise helps with any mental illness. I appreciate your honesty.
Thanks Melissa!! I took Adderall for almost 3 years, but had crazy side effects and comedowns. Switching to Vyvanse instantly helped me to feel better! It’s been two months and I like it much better. I feel more normal and smooth, if that makes sense. I hope it works well for your daughter! <3
I tried yoga for the first time last year and loved it! It was difficult to calm my mind and focus but every time it got easier. I’m bipolar as well and take lamictal and seroquel (prn), working out and diet vastly improve my symptoms. And yay for having a supportive partner! Finding someone who can handle the good & the bad is amazing.
Hi Rachel! I just started yoga last year as well, and it definitely helps with my bipolar! I used to take lamictal, I did well with it! I’m working to get off medication completely, but I am happy that I’m only on two right now! Diet and exercise are definitely so so important for good mental health.
I am so glad we connected! It’s always awesome “meeting” other people with bipolar disorder. I look forward to talking with you more! 🙂