Tis the season to spring forward and welcome new mood changes and rapid cycling. I know that I cycle through depression, anxiety and hypomania when the weather drastically changes, which is usually around March to April and again August to October depending on the year. Another one usually creeps up around June too.
Rapid cycling is like your mind’s way of tying you up in a lasso and whipping your emotions around in all directions. All day, everyday, for weeks.
Good news! It is possible to beat rapid cycling before it happens with just a few handy dandy tricks.
- Routine, routine, routine!
Try your best to fight off your mind’s urge to stray away from routine. It might start telling you to sleep in a little extra one day, skip a day at the gym, or miss out on a date with your friends. Do. Not. Give. In. I swear, just drag your feet and do it anyways otherwise it’ll be one sure way to slip right into a black hole of depression.
- Tell someone you trust and create a buddy system
Two minds are always better than one. Trying to avoid rapid cycling on your own is HARD! Let a family member or friend know that you might start cycling soon so they can make sure you don’t make any big decisions while it’s happening. Your friendships and wallet will thank you for this.
- Activate your fight or flight response
You heard it right – there is a time and place to just go, go, go! How many times have you had a panic attack triggered by just contemplating whether or not you should leave the house to run some errands or meet up with a friend? Or your depression has got you glued to your bed but you know that you should get some fresh air? Firing up that fight or flight response will help you to just grab your jacket and go for it. There’s nothing like fresh air to wake up your senses. On the other hand, if you’re feeling a little manic, follow step 1 instead and stick to your routine!
Take a moment to remember that I am not an expert at this, but a person who has lived with this, so you can take what I say with a grain of salt.
These are all strategies that have helped me – not cured me. I have still cycled based on the weather changes. So far I’ve been doing well and I’d like to thank my new ketogenic lifestyle for that. That’s something I’ll update you guys with soon too!
My best advice? Try your best and forgive yourself as much as you can. Focusing on all the things you can’t do will only make it worse. I hope that some of this will help you like it has for me.