My moods tend to align with the seasons these days. In the spring I get slightly manic. I am more energetic, have a hard time settling down to go to sleep, and tend to overspend, smoke too much, and overeat. Unfortunately I don’t typically get the euphoric mania that makes you feel like you are on top of the world. Mine is more the irritable kind. I am grouchy and tired, but wired at the same time. Last year I spent hundreds of dollars on really bright clothes that I will never wear. If anyone knows me, they know I wear black often and mostly dull colors. So I will not be caught dead in those loud outfits. Not to mention they don’t fit because my weight dropped from my head bouncing all over the place. Hit me up if you’re interested in them.
The following are some tips that I find to be helpful with controlling mania any time of the year.
Limit Caffeine – Drinking a Mountain Dew to stay awake for a college class threw me into a manic episode once. I know it sounds nuts, but it really happened. I cut back on caffeine last year. I stopped drinking 2-4 cups of coffee a day and it really has changed my life. Caffeine tends to throw me into overdrive then I crash and burn. My fatigue has improved significantly by just switching to 1-2 cups of green tea with raw honey.
Limit Sugar – I was addicted to dark chocolate covered almonds from Trader Joe’s last year. I started to notice when I ate them at night that my head started to race and I couldn’t sleep. I also notice this when I eat cake and ice cream at birthday parties. It just makes me hyper and unwell.
Exercise – It helps to burn off that extra energy and calm your mind. Try doing some moderate cardio for a 1/2 hour or better yet take a walk in nature. My head always feels clear after I spend a couple hours walking in the woods. If only I had the time to do that right now!
Earthing or Grounding – Take advice from my mom and go stand in the grass in your bare feet. Balance your energy by connecting to the Earth’s electrons. Research has shown it can improve sleep, lower stress, and reduce inflammation.
Disconnect – Don’t use technology an hour before bedtime. This includes, smartphones, television, and computers. Try blue blocker glasses. I just bought some because I spend a lot of time on the computer and smartphone. The blue light from these devices suppress melatonin production which affects your sleep.
If all else fails or your mania is severe, call your doctor. You may need a prescription change. Ask friends and family members to keep an eye on you because often it is hard for one to tell when they are in a manic episode. Sometimes it just feels like everything is going right and it is difficult for the person affected to see that it might be problematic.