How to function with low energy from bipolar depression:
1. Get out of bed. It’s the last thing you want to do but it is really important that you do not stay in one place all day. It can actually make you feel worse to stay put.
2. Take some space. If you feel like you need some time to process how you feel and keep to yourself, do not be afraid to do so.
3. Get fresh air. Even if you simply walk to the mailbox, walk your dog, go for a quick drive with the windows down, etc. getting fresh air and sunshine can help alleviate some of the sadness.
4. Eat something. Try to avoid binge eating or starving. Order take out or make your favorite recipe. Going for a drive or the act of cooking will be an easy way to get you moving around when you have little energy.
5. Show up. Simply show up to your responsibilities, even if you cannot give 100% of yourself. Not showing up could make you feel worse or as if you have to explain why you were not there.
6. Have a pet (or two!). Pets can seriously help alleviate the symptoms of depression. Personally, my two cats provide comfort and entertainment. Pets can relieve the feeling of loneliness and make you feel needed when you are depressed.
7. Reach out. Get in touch with someone who understands what you are going through. Even if it’s your therapist, family member, significant other, friends, etc.
8. Avoid making big decisions. It’s best to avoid making big decisions while depressed since depression can hinder our thinking and make us “foggy”. Wait until you are feeling more leveled out to make any big changes and decisions. Examples: big purchases, major appearance changes, cancelling future plans, criticizing relationships, etc.
9. Indulge in favorites. If you are not scheduled for work, school, etc. and are able to, watch your favorite movie or show. Play your favorite game or cook your favorite recipe. Avoid recreational drugs and drinking any alcohol.
10. Clean up. Make sure to shower and try to keep your environment a little bit tidy even if you don’t feel up for it.
11. Allow yourself to heal. It’s good to try to stay busy while depressed but it’s also important to allow yourself to heal and get past this depressive low. Do not force or pressure yourself into social situations, outings, etc. if you genuinely feel like you are not ready.