A person diagnosed with bipolar disorder making coping through medications, a balanced diet, and outdoor activities.

Artwork by Nitya Menon

A person diagnosed with bipolar disorder making coping through medications, a balanced diet, and outdoor activities.

Lifestyle Changes with Bipolar Disorder Treatment

Medically reviewed by

Written by Aditi Sahu

More than 350 million people suffer from bipolar disorder worldwide. Their greatest challenge is to live an orderly life amidst alternating bouts of mania and depression. Living with bipolarity is a bigger challenge than treating it. 

It's not immediately obvious in many cases that bipolar individual is suffering from depression but it has been observed that they struggle with daily ordinary tasks. Even getting up in the morning can feel like a ‘task’. 

Treatment for Bipolar Disorder

Medication for bipolar disorder and regular therapy is indeed the solution for treatment for bipolar disorder. Treatment can be availed through OPD consultations, bipolar disorder hospital treatment, or a rehabilitation centre for bipolar disorder. 

Beyond this, a healthy lifestyle is viewed as the third contributing factor in the overall well-being of people who seem to have successfully managed to live with bipolar disorder. Further, under alternate forms there are different types of treatment for bipolar disorder, an example of which would be Ayurvedic treatment for bipolar disorder.

If your family member is dealing with schizophrenia, know that you are not alone. You can connect with mental health professionals at Cadabams whenever you want. We offer the best treatment centers for bipolar disorder help in accelerated recovery. Our helpline number 9741476476 is available to you 24x7 for the treatment options around you.

In this article, we’ll be broadly covering these simple yet effective lifestyle changes for bipolar disorder that will make your daily life a lot better. While bipolar disorder treatment without medication is not advised, there are a few things that can help you in your recovery:

Staying physically active

Often people dealing with mood disorders or undergoing bipolar treatment fail to build a workout regime for themselves. The resistance to exercising and working out is real. But it is for a fact that engaging in any physical activity be it running, jogging, exercising, or playing a sport can drastically improve your mood. Our body naturally releases feel-good hormones such as dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine- these hormones are responsible for feelings of excitement, joy and accomplishment. Start by picking up anything you are most likely to enjoy and do it for 20 minutes. Slowly you’ll start to notice the positive effect of these 20 minutes in your daily life.

Bipolar Disorder Yoga Treatment

Many see yoga merely as a form of workout. But if you dig deep into it you’ll learn it is a lifestyle- a better way of living. Practising yoga has proven and visible benefits. It is a way to connect better with your body, and have a better synchronisation between the mind and the body. Breath is considered the most important element in Yoga. Breathing exercises (Pranayam) help in relaxing the mind and having better control over yourself. Not only is it a great way to stay physically fit and active, but also a great way to practise mindfulness, keeping problems like irritability and psychotic depression at bay. Yoga is even used as part of recovery in bipolar treatment centers.

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Meditation for Bipolar Disorder

It has been observed that meditation has helped tackle the constant highs and lows of mood disorders. Meditation is the easiest and most effective way to practise mindfulness and improve self-awareness. It’ll help you unwind and disengage yourself from overthinking and stressful thoughts. Consider it as a supplement to your existing treatment and therapy. There are many different techniques through which you can practise meditation. Apps like Headspace and Calm offer simple and effective methods such as focus attention, visualization, reflection etc. What’s interesting is that meditation practices don’t just work as stress busters- perhaps increase mental toughness and self-awareness. Just as exercising makes your muscles stronger, in a similar way meditation acts as a workout session for your brain muscles. It is indeed one of the best things to do as a part of your self-care.


Abnormal sleeping patterns are common in people with bipolar- be it over-sleeping, insomnia, nightmares, or irregular or delayed sleep schedule. In any case, poor sleeping habits can directly trigger manic or hypomanic episodes. Try sleeping and waking up at fixed timings. This can be easier said than done, hence try taking help from your partner, a friend or a family member. Tell them you need to maintain your sleep cycle. Avoid napping at any time of the day, and ensure you are exhausting yourself physically (advisable for insomnia cases). Always consider taking help from your doctor, if nothing seems to work. Bottom line- sleep is an essential part of healthy living, too much or too less of it harmful.  

Time Out from Social Media 

Social media has become a black hole of content, perhaps the biggest addiction worldwide. While it might be impossible to not have a social life online, engaging with it in moderation is always advisable. Especially during manic phases, it might lead to excessive online shopping. Sometimes people have also experienced getting triggered due to a social media post which might have been avoided under normal circumstances. Ultimately it is a game of balance and the aim is to exercise healthy control over social media engagement and not let the latter control you. 

Diet for Bipolar Disorder

Every body type has different dietary requirements, and that sole reason should motivate you to seek a proper diet plan if you are suffering from bipolar disorder. The quality and the type of food you consume is the most important aspect of maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Some simple tips include- limited caffeine, sugar and salt intake, and consuming foods rich in fibre, omega-3 fatty acids, and magnesium. Moreover being mindful about the portion sizes and avoiding mood eating at any time is advisable.

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Sticking to a Routine

Sticking to a routine is the most underrated and less talked about component of a healthy lifestyle. Your body is bound to function better if you follow a routine. Imagine eating at different times, sleeping at a different time and working at a different time every day v/s waking up, eating, working and sleeping at fixed times- the answer is obvious. Bipolarity or any mood disorder can make it more difficult to follow a disciplined life. But the goal should be to work towards it and not aim straight for a perfect routine. Try setting small goals for yourself (for eg- waking up at 7) and rewarding yourself for every small win. Not only will this help you lead a healthier life, but the feeling of accomplishment it’ll fill you with is a positive boost towards staying happier. 

Write everything down

Doesn’t matter if you have a good memory or a bad one, making a note or a checklist of everything you want to do is a great way to shed some load off your brain. You can either use the notes app on your phone, set reminders on your phone or use actual checklists and post-it notes- choose whatever suits you. Journaling your day is also advisable, especially for bipolar patients. Just make a note of how your day went and what was your mood like throughout the day. By the end of the month, you’ll have a mood board that can be very helpful for your doctor to draw patterns and make observations. Journaling is also a great way of addressing fluctuating thoughts and complex emotions.

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