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What clears your fog on "bad" days?


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Hi all, I have BP2, and I literally just roll the dice every morning when I get up to see how I'm going to feel.  I have kids and a dog, so I normally have no clue when I'll be woken up.  I do much better when I try to get 8hrs... and my sleep hygiene is terrible, with using electronics right up until time to go to bed.

I've noticed two things that screw up how I feel the next day, and set me up for all-day brain fog which I can' t shake:

  • Too much alcohol
  • Woken up in the middle of a sleep cycle (not in 1.5hr increments as it should be)

I've been searching for ways to shake off the fog throughout the day.  I've tried caffeine (normally works, but on those days doesn't even touch it), cardio, weight lifting, playing music, etc.  Nothing helps except 2 things:

  • Nap - This is the number one thing to knock out the brain fog... anywhere between 5-30 minutes normally does it.  However, this is hard to get on a working day.
  • Outside work (yard work, building something, etc) - This almost always works, but I need to stay at it for at least an hour or so and be focused.

What have you found that helps you get out of a fog and reset if you wake up "in a mood"?

Thanks!

Heygrain

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I think that probably the biggest way to prevent the fog is sleep hygeine.  I can PM you a handout if you’re interested.  It’s a bit more complex than going to bed and getting up at the same time every day, especially if you tend to wake in the middle of the night.  Short naps are ok during the day, but I’d limit it to 20 minutes max ideally.

As for how to get out of the fog when it’s already there:  You are already doing a lot of the good stuff.  If the fog is still affecting your mood, though, sounds like maybe you can do more to prevent mood swings.  Here’s what I recommend based on DBT

—Do something every day that is purely for enjoyment and stay off all media/phone while you are doing it

—Figure out your biggest priorities based on your values and take small actions towards the goals daily

—Think of things in your day that are likely to be challenging and plan ahead for how you will cope

—Pay attention to physical illness / potential medical issues and be proactive about seeking treatment.  Take your meds as directed.

—Reduce alcohol intake

—Eat regularly and in a balanced way.  Avoid foods that affect your mood.

In DBT this is called ABC PLEASE if you want more info via Google.

Basically, I think focusing on preventing emotional vulnerability is the best way to prevent mood swings.  I would say more but I’m running out of steam.  lol

I hope that helps in some way.

 

 

 

 

 

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What @NWVixen said! All good points.

I also sometimes wake up in that place and struggle to reset. Sleep is really a major trigger. I stay up reading on computer too late at night. Regular exercise, getting off the phone/computer & outside in fresh air, eating regular balanced meals (no alcohol, low sugar, high protein)...I have some days where I just have to literally let go and give myself permission to have a "mental health" day where I catch up on sleep, and not guilt myself for being "lazy" or whatever. Maybe find a way to treat yourself to a movie or good restaurant? Some self-care?

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On 2/1/2019 at 7:04 PM, argh said:

Sleep. Not just the raw hours but a regular sleep wake schedule.

look up social rhythm therapy.

Great idea.  I want to work on this myself but finding myself very resistant to a set sleep/wake time.  It’s really not good for me either because I’m pretty sure doing the social rhythm metrics is going to be essential for managing my BP1.

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9 minutes ago, NWVixen said:

Great idea.  I want to work on this myself but finding myself very resistant to a set sleep/wake time.  It’s really not good for me either because I’m pretty sure doing the social rhythm metrics is going to be essential for managing my BP1.

It sucks pretty hard though you will get used to it. 

My therapist mentioned that it is especially helpful for those with BP. I’m mdd myself, possibly soft bp, and I can attest that it does work.

This might be helpful in understanding the theory behind it, in the context of bipolar disorder.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3202498/

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The other day I took a lunch break and took my dog to the park and for a run. I felt pretty rough that morning, but just looking forward to the run I got to feeling better before I even left the house. While at the park the sunshine felt terrific. Felt great the rest of the day, and actually the rest of the week! I need sunshine, I'm ready for winter to be over. LOL

Edited by heygrain
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