Why You Should Start Practicing Mood Hygiene

We practice personal hygiene, dental hygiene, etc. But have you ever thought to practice mood or mental health hygiene?

The word hygiene was derived from the Greek goddess of health, Hygiea. Hygiene is defined as the science of the establishment and maintenance of health. Mood hygiene is when you practice and build habits that will promote good control of your mood symptoms. For those who have a mental illness this helps take preventive measures to improve the symptoms over time.

Living with mental illness, I never thought to add mood hygiene into my routine. The more I learned about it made me realize how beneficial it can be. Practicing mood hygiene doesn’t have to be just for those who have mental illness; it can be for everyone to practice. There are a few ways to practice mood hygiene and incorporate it into your daily life.

  1. Stress and conflict management

When you find yourself in stressful situations, it can sometimes trigger symptoms of your illness like a depressive episode or anxiety attack. There are several ways that you can take to help and prevent stress in your life such as exercising regularly or meditating.

I’ve learned that when I find myself in stressful situations is when my depressive episodes start to surface again. It’s why I’ve added exercise and meditation into my routine because it does help eliminate the stress and lifts that weight off of your shoulders.

  1. Lifestyle regularity

Having structure in your day-to-day life is extremely important. By establishing and sticking to a schedule will help build that structure in your life. For example, I wake up at the same time everyday and have a morning routine that I stick to everyday. I start my mornings by journaling and listing out a few things that I am grateful for each morning. By practicing that gratitude also helps get me in a positive mindset for the day. I then get my workout in before I start my workday.

By having a schedule you stick to on a regular basis builds the structure in your life that will help you feel in control of your life.

  1. Track your moods

By keeping track of your moods will help you determine if there is a certain pattern or cycle in your moods. I started tracking my moods a couple months ago in my journal and it has helped me become more self-aware. It’s helped me notice a pattern in my moods and it allows me to get my moods more under control. It allows me to prepare for the month so I can be strategic with my commitments and make sure I don’t over extend myself.

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These are just a few ways on how you can practice mood hygiene and start implementing them into your own daily life. Practicing mood hygiene on a regular basis will help immensely in the mental health recovery process. It allows you to have a new sense of control in your life and can be empowering for the individual.

Music That Changes My Mood – 2019 Edition

One of the things I loved about blogging is the ability to share my experiences and love for many different things with my followers. One of those things is my love for music. I can’t imagine a world without music, and I listen to music every day of my life. One of the things that started here on The Bipolar Writer Collaborative blog was the idea of sharing music that changes my mood. This is coming at a good time as a recent bout of depression and doubts have flooded my mind of late. So here are some music that changes my mood.

The Veronicas – When It All Falls Apart
On My Own – Les Miserables
Girls Generation – Every day Love
Sara Bareilles – Brave
Rachel Platten – Fight Song
Christina Perri – A Thousand Years
Avril Lavigne – Wish You Were Here
Avril Lavigne – Keep Holding On
Girls Generation – All My Love is for You
Luke Bryan – Play It Again
The Band Perry – If I Die Young
Anna Kendrick – Cups

Always Keep Fighting

James

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Ideas for Mental Health Recovery

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One of the critical components of mental health recovery in my mind is finding the things that work to make you happy.  Over the years I have used different things to get me through the worst months of the year (my SAD months.) It differs from person to person because one person’s illness is not exactly alike, so find what works for your specific mental health recovery.

What I have found useful in my life is role-playing video games as they get me through some of the worst depression in my life. It is a way to escape the reality for a few hours and focus on something different. It gives me an opportunity to reach goals and feel good about myself when depression is taking over.

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Writing is my greatest weapon to deal with the ups and downs of my mental illness. The writing projects that I am currently working on and this blog are so helpful.

There are other things that I am working towards as we head into the final three months of 2018. I had many lofty goals this year, but there are still somethings that I would like to try out– like photography. I have talked to other artists and photographers about how therapeutic taking pictures is for their mental health. When I use video games or reading books to escape my mental illness for a few hours, it is the same for them with photography. It was one of my goals to start the year, but I got further away from it because of the cost.

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What started this blog post was one of the fellow bloggers asking me how people deal using different forms of media like books, video games, watching film, photography, and even writing. This blogger mentioned that people coping with trauma often get into horror movies and books because they connect with the genre. I can relate to this in so many ways. I got into reading Edgar Allan Poe because of the connection to the “dark romanticism” feel of his work, and his influence is in every aspect of my writing.

What I want people to get out of this post is this, there are so many ways out there to cope with mental illness, and these things are essential to finding what will help with your overall mental health.

Before starting The Bipolar Writer Collaborative blog, I was lost. I had my writing but it was not enough.

Then I started this blog and everything changed. I have used this blog to improve myself through shared experiences in mental illness, and now I am more open to sharing my experiences. I wrote my memoir because of the amazing mental illness community here on WordPress. It has been what has helped my mental health recovery. Find what helps you get through the tough times, and it will make these times less harsh. Never dwell of the negative and always move forward.

Always Keep Fighting (AKF)

James

Photo Credit:

Julius Drost

Arturo Rey

charley pangus

James & Carol Lee

Mental Health Stigma’s Among College Student Minorites

This was a project that I did for a class and I meant to share a while back. It is a PowerPoint presentation with a voice over. I am not the best speaker, but I hope that you get the message and maybe some thoughts about what I talked about in this project– Mental Health Stigmas Among College Minorities.

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Always Keep Fighting

James

Photo Credit: Akson

Update: My Campaign to Upgrade

I wanted to make a quick update on my progress that I talked about on my blog post Sharing My Vision for The Bipolar Writer Blog. I was hoping to upgrade this time around, but it wasn’t meant to be. It was a grandiose idea. Hopefully, in the coming months, I will be able to upgrade on my own.

With that said, some fantastic fellow bloggers worked towards that goal by donating to the cause. It means the world that I could at least, for now, keep my current premium subscription going. I promised to list all those who helped make The Bipolar Writer possible. Thank-you to all the following bloggers who made a donation.

Andrick Schall

Samantha Warren

Lisa Juergens

Jessica Regn

Jamie Anderson

Florence Weaver

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Over the next year, I will continue to bring new and original content and grow the already fantastic family that is my contributor bloggers here on The Bipolar Writer blog. It is close to my one year anniversary of starting this blog, and we are just getting started. I plan on doing everything I planned with the business upgrade. I always write because I want to end the stigma surrounding mental illness. I can continue to do just that over the next year.

Always Keep Fighting

James

Photo Credit:

Manuel Cosentino

Nathan Dumlao

Music That Changes My Mood – Part 20

When you need someone is a common theme in this mental illness life. For today’s version of music that changes my mood, I decided to list songs that help me when it gets lonely in the struggle. Music is such an amazing force in my life, and it helps get through the loneliness of being an introvert. Here are some of my favorite songs in my lonely playlist.

Courage My Love – Need Someone

Paramore – My Heart

Flyleaf – There for You

Good Charlotte – Hold On

Taylor Swift – Clean (Cover by Kina Grannis)

Paramore – The Only Exception

The Veronicas – In Another Life

The Veronicas – When It All Falls Apart

When You’re Lonely

Avril Lavigne – I’m With You

Avril Lavigne – Nobody’s Home

All Time Low – Remembering Sunday

I hope you enjoy another edition this series. You can find the entire series here:  Favorite Music

Always Keep Fighting (AKF)

James

Photo Credit: Mark Cruz

The Start of Something New

My move is official, and I am into my new house. It is a chance for me to reset the clock on my life. It was time for something good and change. I think it will be helpful for my anxiety. One significant life-changing thing this week– the move. Then at the end of this week, I will be completing the primary goal since starting my recovery journey that I have been working on over the past four years.

I will be the first to graduate with my bachelor’s degree in my family.

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As I start this new stage of my life, a chance for something new, I wanted to reflect on how things have gone since 2010. I remember it still as if it was yesterday. I was laying in a hospital bed, the second time in two weeks. The first hospital visit was a suicide attempt where I came close to dying. I spend three days in a coma because of an overdose. If I am honest, I didn’t believe that I would wake up. I am happy to be living my life right at this moment.

It was in the second hospital visits after several seizures that I reflected on the path my life had taken from 2006-2010. It had been a life of chaos. I wanted stability. It was the first time in my life that I admitted that my life was falling apart– and I finally said “I am Bipolar” for the first time since my diagnosis in 2007.

It was there that my life started to change. I realized at that moment that for some reason, despite trying so hard, that there was something bigger going on in my life. Against the odds, according to my doctors, I survived– barely.

It has never been easy. Every day I struggle to find the balance between my life and my mental illness life. The lines are blurry between the two worlds. Since that moment I have been happy. I have been sad. I have been through depression cycles both long and short. I developed social anxiety, lived through the worst insomnia, and found a place in this world where I belong– like becoming a mental health advocate.

Just in the four years that I decided to go back to school and get my degree in creative writing so much has happened in my life. The good always outweighs the bad. I went through bleeding ulcers last year– I survived. There were so many times that giving up seemed like the perfect option– but I persevered.

I have written my memoir which has been my most significant achievement. I wrote a screenplay that featured a character that was Bipolar, and the novel version is close to completion. My favorite thing in the last four years is creating The Bipolar Writer blog and coming up with my psydonym– James Edgar Skye.

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My blog has become a place of solace and where I can be myself. Sharing my journey with you has been the highest part of my day.

My upcoming achievement is a testament that even with a mental illness you can overcome and do great things.  We can fight. I can fight. Always keep fighting because we can’t let mental illness win.

I offer this last thing before ending this blog post. Together we can fight the stigma surrounding mental illness. I challenge you to write your story. Collaborate with other mental health writers and advocates. Life is too short to let mental illness win. Above all work on your mental health first.

James

P.S. Its time to open a bottle of Jameson to celebrate this coming weekend.

Photo Credit:

unsplash-logoAlex St

unsplash-logoVasily Koloda

Favorite Music

Music That Changes my Mood – The Series

I started a series of blog posts sharing some of my favorite music when depression is overwhelming me. It has started a series here on “The Bipolar Writer” I thought it was time to put everything together in one blog post. This series started with a post about my favorite Korean Pop music, an obsession of mine. Here is the entire series of “Music That Changes My Mood.”

An American’s Obsession with Korean Pop

Music That Changes my Mood Mood Pt. 1

Music That Changes my Mood Pt. Two

Music That Changes my Mood Part Three

Music that Changes my Mood Part Four

Music that Changes my Mood Part Five

Music that Changes my Mood Part Six

Music That Changes my Mood Part Seven

Music That Changes my Mood – Part Eight

Music That Changes my Mood – Part Nine

Music That Changes My Mood – Part Ten

Music That Changes my Mood – Part Eleven

Music That Changes my Mood – Part Twelve

Music That Changes my Mood – Part 13

Music That Changes my Mood – Part 14

Music That Changes my Mood Pt. 15

Music That Changes my Mood – Pt. 16

Music That Changes my Mood – Pt. 17

Music That Changes my Mood Pt. 18

Music That Changes My Mood – Part 20

Music That Changes my Mood – PT. 21

 

J.E. Skye

Photo Credit:

unsplash-logoMohammad Metri

Music That Changes my Mood Pt. 15

What a week, and its only Friday. I really missed writing to my followers everyday. Its the first time in 2018 that I failed to write everyday, but my school work was more important this week. I will be writing a special post tomorrow which updates my week in social anxiety.

I don’t think I have ever struggled with my anxiety and depression so much in one week, and still found ways to be productive. This week more than most music has gotten me through the worst parts of my week. So I wanted to share a special edition version of music that changes my mood.

Girls Generation – Light Up the Sky

Bon Jovi – Livin’ On A Prayer

Bon Jovi – It’s My Life

Paramore – Hard Times

Lucy Hale – You Sound Good to Me

Luke Bryan – Play it Again

Paramore – My Heart

Meg and Dia – My Ugly Mouth

Dia Frampton – The Broken Ones

Crystalyne – Secret

Crystalyne – 6 in the morning

Girls Generation One Last Time


I hope you enjoyed.

James

Photo Credit:unsplash-logoJuja Han