- Cabin fever – Changing daylight and temperature are associated with worse weather. As the snow piles up or the rain falls, you are less likely to leave the house. When you stay in, you lose the mood-boosting positives that come with a change of scenery. Staying in one place too long increases boredom and boredom gives you too much time to think about negatives in your life. Dwelling on negatives is never a good idea.
- Less socialization – Along with the cabin fever comes less socialization. People need other people to feel a sense of acceptance and belonging. The cold weather keeps people indoors and away from trusted supports. Additionally, the isolation keeps you unable to make space between you and those in your house. Tensions can rise as the lack of separation wears down your relationship.
Spring means that depression is lifting, but is can also mean that manic episodes are possible. Take care to manage these symptoms through insight and action. Here’s how:
- Know yourself – This first tip is important for any number of mental health conditions. Knowing yourself means learning what people, places and things push your buttons and understanding the role you play in allowing your buttons to be pushed. These are your triggers for mania. Look at what items can be avoided completely or minimized to some level. Your experience from the previous spring will be your guide. Ask others in your life to provide their perspective on the actions. Be aware though, some people may think your manic symptoms are funny or exciting since they do not have to live with the consequences.
- Know your mania – What do your manic episodes look like? What triggers your mania? Even if it seems that your symptoms do not follow a pattern, look again. Many times mania is triggered by changes in sleep or daily routine. Working shifts can adversely impact bipolar disorder because it is too difficult for your body to find balance and regulation. Monitor food and drink. Always avoid illegal drugs and alcohol since these can trigger manic episodes. Consider making a mania timeline to track episodes, possible triggers and consequences
- Limit risks – With the information gained in the first two tips, you can plan ways to limit the risks of poor decision making when manic. Do you spend too much money impulsively? Then cut up your credit cards and only carry a limited amount of cash with you. Do you often speak impulsively or say things in an overly blunt manner when manic? Consider carrying a small notepad with you where you can write down your ideas or try practicing assertive communication techniques to manage the tone of your remarks. If you are not willing to stop drinking alcohol completely, find safe situations and supportive people to drink with to improve decision making.