Back to Reality & Exercising for Bipolar Disorder

Dearest Bloggers, 

I’m back and I’m ready to dive into your blogs one again.  In the meantime, I wrote the following post last Monday while we were still in snowy Tahoe, waaaaaay back in the year 2014  – I hope you like it!  Happy Belated New Year! love, Dyane

Wintry Musings

 Happy New Year, everyone! I’m still stuck in the old year as I write this in the “Munchkin House” on a sunny, cold Monday morning.

 This is the view outside my window:DSCN0174It’s the Alpine Valley, California mountainside – Squaw Valley is just over the ridge…I’ve gazed at this view in the spring, summer and fall, and I love having seen it in all four seasons:

 

Last month while speaking with one of my favorite bloggers, my friend Kitt O’Malley. (www.kittomalley.com) I whined about how I wished there was a live support group in my area for those with mood disorders. I was in a unusually dejected state. I had just found out that one of my closest friends “Karen” was moving several hundred miles away from our town. While I knew we’d stay in touch, I still felt a void over her leaving.

Kitt reminded me that I do have a support group in front of my very eyes: the blogosphere! I didn’t need to pressure myself to create another support group. As some of you know, I’ve formed several mood disorder support groups over the years. Nothing “took” long-term as I relapsed with bipolar depression every time and the groups fizzled out. I realized Kitt was totally right in recognizing our virtual community of support, and that was more than enough for me for now. I’m incredibly grateful for her friendship and for your support.

I’ve written before about the affinity I feel with many of you, i.e. the diverse, amazing bloggers I follow regularly! I only know some of you by aliases, but ironically I feel closer to you than I do to a few of my relatives!

I’ve focused on subscribing to blogs written by those living with bipolar disorder. I also read a few about anxiety, and derealization/depersonalization. According to some well-meaning friends, my selecting mostly bipolar-related blogs implies that I’m “obsessive” about bipolar and that “I identify too much with the illness”. I disagree. I read some blogs that focus on recovery with bipolar as the primary theme, but every blog I follow helps me in one way or another.  The bottom line is that I’ve found my tribe, and I don’t associate an unhealthy obsession with this virtual network.

Speaking of networks…

It has been almost a whopping two weeks that I’ve been off Facebook, Twitter and the WordPress Reader.  While my Facebook and Twitter networks are filled with great people, I find them to be different experiences compared to following your blogs.  Blogs allow me glimpses into your souls.  It’s a more satisfying experience to read a post compared to a status update or tweet. Moreover, many of my Facebook and Twitter contacts don’t have bipolar disorder, and they can’t understand my challenges in living with it. That might explain while I was able to easily detach from Facebook and Twitter during this trip. I was very, VERY surprised to find that I didn’t miss Facebook and Twitter for the most part, because I’ve been heavily addicted to these forms of social media. Conversely, I have missed my daily hour of reading blogs on my WordPress Reader!  (You know that already!)  Sure, I have books to read and I love books, but I like to have my cake and eat it too. I want books and blogs!  😉

Where am I going with all this? I don’t know – I’m just blogsick, I guess!

Meanwhile, I’ve gone on daily thirty-minute walks in the Tahoe snow; today it was 16 degrees. (!!!!) I could have stayed indoors in front of a cozy fire, but I pushed myself to get outside because the psychiatrist Dr. Mohammad Alsuwaidan’s asserts that those thirty minutes of vigorous exercise a day will keep bipolar depression at bay.  

I’ve re-posted Dr. Alsuwaidan’s suggestions and link for those of you who didn’t see it in my last post.

It is beautiful to walk in the snow, but I prefer my elliptical and blasting the Pandora channel during my workout.

So by the time you read this message, we’ll be headed back home to my glorious internet connection. I look forward to catching up with your lives via the blogosphere, and as we start 2015 together I hope with all my heart that this is the bet year yet for each of us!!!

Love,

Dyane

———————————————————————————————–

DYANE’S EXERCISE FOR BIPOLAR DISORDER RESOURCES

A powerful tool that’s helping prevent the onset of my bipolar depression is following the guidelines of my exercise hero, the psychiatrist Dr. Mohammad Alsuwaidan

For specific details about what to do and why to do it, please read Dr. Alsuwaidan’s brief blog article at – it will take you less than five minutes:

http://kuwaitmood.com/exercise-mood-part-iii-from-science-to-action/

I don’t want to sound like a cult member, but this brilliant psychiatrist’s advice, which he follows himself, can change your life for the better!   

I can’t help but lovingly encourage you to start doing 30 minutes a day of exercise, especially if you have bipolar disorder, per Dr. Alsuwaidan’s guidelines, i.e. vigorous, enough to make you break a sweat and not be able to carry on conversations with others. Is this easy?  No.  

Annoyed walk

Annoyed during my walk – I had just fallen on ice…

Is it worth the trouble? YES!!!!

If your depression is so bad that the very idea of exercise makes you want to hurl, please put this info. in the back of your head for when you start feeling a little better.   If you can try 5 “Alsuwaidan-style” minutes (again, please read Dr. Alsuwaidan’s blog post first about what to do/how to work out) and build up from five minutes to thirty minutes, I’ll send you a little surprise!

I beseech you to visit this link below to listen to Dr. Mohammad Alsuwaidan’s International Society for Bipolar Disorders-sponsored webinar. This is what profoundly affected me in terms of why I should exercise for bipolar.  It’s about eating chocolate to lose weight and gain muscle – just kidding!  I can’t stand listening to webinars, but this one is worth it! The second half is especially convincing as to why you should aim to work out for your mood – listen for his section about exercise as a “panacea” for bipolar disorder.   It’s fascinating, and convincing as hell!

“Exercise for the Neurological Treatment of Mood Disorders” webinar

http://www.isbd.org/education/webinar-series

Lastly, if you haven’t had a chance to read my December International Bipolar Foundation blog post about my different take on exercise and my professional fitness background you can find it here:

 http://www.ibpf.org/blog/different-take-exercise-and-why-i-want-you-join-me

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52 thoughts on “Back to Reality & Exercising for Bipolar Disorder

    1. That’s great that you exercise, and yes, it’s obvious when we skip it. When I am most tempted to blow it off, 9 times out of 10 it’s when i absolutely need it the most! Thanks for reading, Amy, & good luck with working out – I know you can “just do it!” 😉

  1. This was great to read! It’s so true that exercise helps so profoundly. I’m 8 weeks post c-section so right now it’s moderate exercise for me, but I look forward to healing and getting back to vigorous.

    Love your blog already,

    Tori

    1. Hey there Tori! I love your blog as well, so we’re the Love Society! 😉 Your comment totally lifted up my spirits.

      I really hope you are able to take it easy. I didn’t have a c-section with either of my girls, and I can’t imagine how difficult that would be. :0

      Sending you lots of healing vibes and I hope you’ll write again soon!!!
      (((hugs))) (gentle ones) from your new fan,
      Dyane

  2. Before Christmas, I was running every other day for four miles each. I’ve managed a walk in my mall and one run since then. Don’t laugh, the walk around the mall on both levels searching for cute boot socks was three miles total! Gotta check out the dr. and get back to running.

    1. I won’t laugh at all abut that mall walk!!!! :)) Dr. Alsuwaidan’s advice is really simply: work out at least 5-6 days a week ((gulp, I know!!!) for 30 minutes – no more than that – and vigorously enough to make you sweat and not be able to converse with other people or yodel for that matter! 😉 You might ask, “Now, why should I listen to his webinar and read the blog post since that’s so simple?” My answer to that is that he explains why it’s so important to commit to such a routine – I found him to be so convincing. His words will stay with you on those days when you want to blow it off! Plus, he’s really interesting too!:)

      Thanks for reading and I support you in the your running. Keep us posted!

  3. Welcome back Dyane! I hope your holidays were happy 🙂 Thank you for the exercise link – something I will definitely be checking out. I have been behind on reading everyone blogs too – busy time of year 🙂

    Also, for the record I don’t believed you are over involved with your illness because most of the blogs you follow are about mental illness. So many people who write parenting blogs only follow other parenting blogs…or travel blogs…or writing blogs…whatever! In any case it is a part of your life, and it is something that helps you. So what is it to them, hey? 🙂

    Good to have you back!

    1. Thanks for the lovely welcome back! I loved reading this comment in part because you made me feel better about my choice to read blogs about MI. You’re right…as long as what I read is helpful is what counts the most.

      It’s good to be back!

  4. I don’t have Bipolar or any other mental health issues (I don’t think) but my son who is 36 was diagnosed with Bipolar II less than a year ago. I am trying to understand the best I can and he knows I am (he lives a thousand miles away). Anyway I appreciate coming across these sites of those who are willing to talk about their illness. It helps me too.

    1. Dear Sammy, thank you so much for the follow and welcome to my blog. Thank God you don’t have bipolar, etc., but my heart goes out to you regarding your son. He’s lucky he has a loving, caring parent such as you.

      I was diagnosed around the same time as him (I was 37; I had just had a baby) and it took me years to get on the right path. Please know I’m not writing that to discourage you in any way, but to share with you that has been my experience and of course everyone is different and it doesn’t have to take that long to get stable etc.!

      There’s a wonderful class with NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) for family members of those with bipolar and other mood disorders called “Family to Family” you might want to investigate. There are NAMI chapters in every state. I encourage you to check out my good friend Kitt O’Malley’s blog as she has tons of fantastic resources that might be of interest to you, including NAMI. She’s at http://www.kittomalley.com Take care, Sammy! warmest regards, Dyane

      1. Thanks Dayne for the feedback. I will investigate the resources you suggested includig Kitt O’Malley blog.

        All the best to you and your family and your future which I am sure will be filled with love and joy.

        Sammy

  5. Love the post! I too went through the “blahpolar” as you say. I think I may still be in them, but I’m trying to get that exercise in. Everyday I hear, what I imagine to be your voice, telling me to get on that elliptical. I’m also doing an online 30 day yoga challenge. If I get it in today, then I’ve only missed one day. Anyway, thanks for being such a great inspiration!

    1. Susan, every time I hear U2 I think of YOU (which is a lot as U2 comes up on all my Pandora channels that I use for daily workouts, ha ha!!!!!) I am so incredibly proud of you! I haven’t read your latest posts yet but I will…..I’m also super-impressed that you’re doing the online 30 day yoga challenge. Go Susan!!!!! I might wind up making a special “Go Susan, rah rah” Youtube video just for you that you can play to get pumped up. Stay tuned….. 😉 You rock, you awesome possum! Perhaps you could post pictures of Bono, the Edge etc. on the wall in front of the elliptical for further motivation, hee hee!

  6. D, see everybody says they’ve missed you and r glad to have u back, ain’t this an unconditional support network? I had already adopted my blog pals as my e-family and a precious one deserving of acknowledgement in my books. Needless to say I agree with you how close we can feel to one other sometimes even much more than to ‘blood relatives’ whatever that really is. As for the hinting you follow too many bi-polar blogs (again whatever that is), I can only say you follow my blog and mine is plainly ‘uncategorized’, just about my thrilling life and luns. 🙂 and now with regards to exercise, I am glad u’r giving it ur best shot because it’s definitely worth that ‘blush – u call feeling pampy or angry?’ I know how difficult it is to even leave the bed sometimes especially when DEPRESSED. ok, enough rambling, enjoy your sunday and let’s look forward to a more fulfilling year right? 🙂

    1. Marie, your comment is so beautiful and it truly touched my heart. You are so right – this is a fabulous, unconditional support network we share, and it helps me in so many ways. I love the fact the you’ve acknowledged your e-family in your books! You didn’t ramble in your comment – you are always eloquent! As far as how many bipolar blogs I follow, well, a few months ago I had gotten it down to around 60 and now I’m back up to 100 – ahhhhh – there are just so many good ones and I can’t resist them, ha ha! Some of those bloggers don’t post very often so that kept it do-able for me. And it’s very important to have blogs such as yours in the mix too – ones that are uncategorized and that touch on many topics. Anyway,re: exercise I keep finding out that no matter how rotten I feel before popping on my elliptical, I feel better once I’m sweatin’! Gotta make sure I don’t overdo it either – my knees don’t like it when it make the resistance level too hard, as tempted as I’ve been ever since I got back to do that. I use a great, fairly inexpensive homeopathic gel called arnica for my knee pain and that helps me too.

      Who is rambling now? Ha ha ha! I wish you a belated New Year, gorgeous Marie, and thank you for your always-encouraging, inspiring comments! XO Dy

  7. Great to read your post and thanks so much for also supporting my blog! I too feel so supportive for the blogosphere and just wrote a post that talks about some of that gratitude tonight.

    I appreciate this post about exercise. I’m recently realizing the incredible value of movement through a deepening yoga practice. Over the years, I’ve hated to exercise and now I realize how important it actually is, not for my body, but for my brain …

    1. Here’s a big, belated thanks, Your Bipolar Girl! I’ve only just begun to read your posts, but I love what I’ve read so far, and I’ll be commenting there soon. I’m still catching up with all the blogs I’ve missed for 2 weeks – I don’t think of them as “blogs” anymore, but as my “real friends”, therefore I don’t want to blow the posts off! I want to know what I’ve missed. Hope that makes some kind of sense. 😉

      I am impressed about your yoga practice! It’s awesome that you recognize that exercise is not simply for biceps but for our mysterious brains’ benefit as well. Keep up the awesome practice and I’ll see you over at your blog very soon! 😉 take care, Dy

    1. Thank you so much! We all wound up getting sick with colds/coughs except our puppy Lucy! Oh well – at least the mountain air was so fresh & wonderful-smelling, and my sinuses eventually cleared so I could take it all in!! 😉 Happy New Year, dear Supermommyoftwins – I will catch up on your posts this week!!! XO blessings to your gorgeous family

    1. Thanks Vic! I consider you all to be my “bras” – ha, ha, I couldn’t resist that! You are extraordinarily supportive, though – it’s the truth! sending you a belated New Year’s hug! I’ll be reading about what you’ve been up to the past two weeks – I want to know!

  8. Hi, Dyane! Welcome back to the supportive blogosphere. I agree that the community is supportive. I get overwhelmed by Facebook and have to rethink my engagement there. The thing is, I get more referrals to my blog from Facebook than any other source. I love reading blogs, too, but have to be more selective, for I am spreading myself too thin, thus my New Year Resolution to Protect My Time & Energy (http://kittomalley.com/2015/01/02/new-year-resolution/). How’s that for a run-on sentence! Sorry for the shameless self-promotion. Figured you’d be okay with it.

    P.S. Love the Annoyed during my walk pic! Has anyone ever told you that you are adorable when you’re annoyed? Tell Craig he has nothing to fear. I’m without doubt straight.

    1. Hahaha Kitt, I was about to make the same comment that I found D’s pic of annoyed rather sort of ‘sexily trying to be timid’ – I thought the jaw was kinda blushing. Ok for that, we seem to have decided to be more selective this year and I just blogged about not having any resolution this year in avoidance of any pressure, guilt or etc.

      1. You two crack me up! And I was actually annoyed – I swear this fact to both of you, Marie & Kitt, on a stack of phone books and Bibles! It was a selfie that I took with my old cell phone that’s on the brink of death!

        I was annoyed due to all the horrid dog owners in the neighborhood where I walked. Many of these owners let their dogs roam the streets – it was CRAZY. It was cold and snowy, and there were cars and snow plows galore, yet these owners didn’t care about their dogs’ safety or the drivers’ safety for that matter.

        Every day when I went out for a walk, at least two or three roaming dogs would approach me and Lucy, some friendly-like, but some very aggressively. 😦

        These “owners” also didn’t believe in picking up their dogs’ poo so there was dog crap was all over the place. This was in a neighborhood filled with multi-million dollar homes. That was the very least of my annoyances, of course, but still – I found that to be symbolic.

        Finally, I was peeved due to the fact that I was ignorant about wearing safe boots (with spikes) for walking on ice & snow, hence my fall.

        Thanks for letting me vent. I feel better now. 😉 Free therapy!

    2. At long last I’m responding to this comment of yours, my dear friend Ms. Kitt O’Malley. Interestingly enough, I’ve barely touched on Facebook ever since we got home 5 days ago. I miss FB but not enough for me to get on there the way I had been doing. It’s too much. I’m so overwhelmed right now with life. The overwhelm has actually forced me to detach from Facebook in order to focus on mundane (and perhaps not so mundane) tasks such as bills, dirty laundry, dishes, cleaning our fridge (which I should have done 2 years ago), planning Avonlea’s 10th (!!!!) party, and oh yeah, my book. And more.

      That’s interesting that you get the most referrals to your blog from Facebook! I’ve hardly been on Twitter for the most part too – wow, right? What still appeals to me more now than ever before are the blogs! I know you understand why….I don’t have to explain to a kindred spirit. And I’ll DEFINITELY be reading EVERY SINGLE KITT O’MALLEY post that I’ve missed! Not because I have to, but because I want to do it. I read some of your posts last night and “liked” them – I know you don’t require that I comment on every post. 😉

      You can self-promote anytime you want on my blog! I’m glad you already knew that…..

      Thank you for writing that I look adorable when I’m annoyed – and your comment made me laugh. I still need to relay your message to tell Craig not to worry, ha ha. He’s not the worrying type – I do enough of that for the two of us, and I’m working on that one, believe me. XO

    1. I’m FINALLY thanking you, my dear! I hope you are okay – I haven’t caught up with your latest posts yet, along with everyone else’s……but I spotted a few of your headlines & I’m hoping and praying you’re doing well. Sending you love from afar, and you’ll definitely see me back on your blog this week. xoxoxo Dy

    1. I love you, my Moose Tracks’ lovin’ friend. I can’t tell you how much fun it would be to meet you in person. We’d be hilarious together – the Potty Mouth Twins!And I could see us walking around this wackadoodle mountain town with pints of Moose Tracks clutched in our hands, and spoons waving around the air, savoring the heavenly, fat-laden calories together. Someday! xoxoxo always, your freaky-ass friend Dy

    1. Sooooo glad to be back and super-proud of you for getting your book on! I can say I “knew you before you hit the big time!” Keep it goin’! And thanks for missing me, sweet T!

  9. Happy New Year Dyane! Welcome back! Missed you. Love the sequined hat 🙂 And I so agree with you about our support group in the blogosphere, I’ve felt so much support from my fellow bloggers, including you! And I have tried to offer support as well. There’s nothing like people who know what you’re going through because they’ve experienced it too! Health, love and happiness in the New Year for you, my friend. xxxooo

    1. Hello lovely, I’ll be emailing you shortly with the contact info., but I wanted to thank you here as well. I love that sequin hat too, hee he! I’ll tell my Mom you said that, as she bought it for me. It was fun to wear during the holidays – I love sparkle and I know you do too. Wishing you the best year of your life! Much love now and always, your friend & fan, Lady Dy

      1. OMG – I’ve never been to London and it would be a dream-come-true. I’ve never been anywhere in the U.K. for that matter despite wanting to go there for decades – coulda woulda shoulda. I was a an English Literature major at college!!!! Someday…..someday…..!!!! 🙂

    1. Thank you Lisa! I’m so happy we are connected – I love your blog, and I am grateful to “know” you, my fellow coffee-lovin’ friend. You’re a total inspiration!

  10. We’ve missed your presence Dyane! 🙂 Looking forward to reading more about you and yours. May 2015 be the year we meet, in California. I’ll email the Universe to boo my flight!! 🙂 Love and light to you!

    1. Hello there at last, Yve! I’ve missed YOU too, and I’m glad I was able to read a little bit of your blog since I got home a few days ago….Sorry I wasn’t able to be tuned in on Twitter when you sent out some tweets, but I saw you got some great advice from my friend Wendy K. Williamson, who knows a thing or two about cycles. 😉 She’s an angel, really. As are you! Much love and light to you, you beautiful & magnificent writer. Keep shining your light – look how far it reaches across the world! xo Dy

      1. When I see the many people you’ve helped in some way or the other (could be the angelic touch of yours, or that sense of humour!), I really feel honoured to have ‘met’ you. 🙂 I’m still getting to know my cycles, like a coy school girl, but I’m hoping to learn more and share as I go along. Not everyone will agree what or how I share, but at this point of my life, being out of work, and a stay at home mom, I figure I have nothing to lose! Besides weight of course 😀 Maybe one day when you’re free you can advise on how I can build stronger and possibly profitable ties with our own local mental health organiations. We’re not as big as you all, but a voice is a voice, right? Maybe my big mouth and bipolar can be someone else’s saving grace.
        KEEP WRITING YOUNG LADY! 🙂 xxxxx

    1. Thank you, thank you! I cannot WAIT to catch up with your blog – all your posts help me. Lots of hugs and I wish you a belated Happy New Year too, sweet WiL!

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