In light of all the current advice on how to protect myself physically, I’m also focusing on my mental health. Letting bipolar disorder spin out of control is the biggest risk to myself—and to those around me. Here is what is helping me weather this storm. 

By Carrie Cantwell

When something “big” is going on, I immerse myself in the latest updates. I become a news junkie—just waiting for the next announcement like I’m chasing my next high … even when that rush isn’t pleasurable. Or, like now, when it causes nightmares. Although I know I’m sensitive to triggers like routine changes and bad news, I feel compelled to read every article I can get my hands on. This preoccupation can be harmful, as it threatens my mental stability.

#1 Limiting My News Exposure

I’m on hiatus from scrolling through my phone’s news feed. Instead of streaming news every day while I’m working, I’ve switched to music. Now, I listen to relaxing classic jazz to keep myself sane and stable.

Music soothes my mind and keeps me calm. If I feel the need to know what’s going on, I’ll allow myself only five minutes at a time to scan the headlines. I am not going overboard, spending hours digging deeper into long news stories or health updates that are simply repeating the same information. Instead, I quickly glean what I need to know, and then I move on.

The last thing I need to do right now is ruminate. Historically, that leads to depression, at least with me. I’m also automatically archiving all incoming email updates on current events. I can read them later if needed; reading them all right now is just going to make me more anxious. Read more >>