1. Don’t React
The first thing to do is to take time to yourself and sit quietly, but after the quietness is the response. To respond rather than reacting gives us a chance to respond appropriately rather than irrationally, we could respond by disengaging, deescalating, not throwing fuel to the fire. Responding to your current low constructively by putting away anything that could do or cause harm to yourself or others. It helps to step back and to think things through.
2. Cry but Don’t Attach
Just let yourself feel what you feel, but don’t attach to them. Give yourself permission to be down. Let the thoughts come and fall away. Rise and drift. It will pass, happiness will come again. Yes you’re tired, yes it hurts, yes this feels bad in this moment. That’s where we are right now. So love ourselves and have enough compassion for ourselves to let ourselves cry. There is no rush to feel better. You are where you are now, you feel what you feel now, it’s OK not to be OK, just try not to attach to that feeling, it’s important not to let it define you but rather to use it as a moment to simply be down and recuperate. Crying is part of our bodies healing process.
3. Connect or Reconnect With Your Allies
If it’s possible (and this is not always the case). Find and seek out people to talk to. Maybe it’s a therapist or a counselor. Share with someone you trust and who listens. Or just hang out with someone who makes you feel good and who cares about you and your well-being genuinely. You don’t even have to tell them you’re feeling bad.
I love volunteering and giving back, but sometimes I am in such a low that it doesn’t help. When I’m down and don’t feel like I can talk about it sometimes I seek out someone to hang with because being in their presence makes me smile and laugh. For me that person is my grams. We don’t always have this as an option, and during a low I don’t always have the energy to seek out new experiences. Which is OK. We’re going to have to face the solitude and be alone with ourselves some time. Which is all the more reason to prepare a sanctuary a feel-good environment that acts as a temporary buffer between us and the rest of the world as we recover.
4. Disconnect With Toxic & Unsupportive People
“Toxic Person” in this scenario can mean anything from a person who mistreats you, who we might have baggage with. More than likely it is a person to whom we perceive as toxic during a low.
There are all types of toxic people in our life. From the extreme cases to the mild cases. There can be the ‘caring’ friend who gossips behind your back and spreads rumors. There can be the person who might be passive-aggressive, ask how you are doing, express they care, but always have ulterior motives and more often than not express it to other people who keep the gossip going and/or return it back to you.
For some people disconnecting means cutting people out of your life. But if you have made a genuine commitment to not turn away others from your heart but rather open wider to them as well as not to depend on others for your external happiness then it is important to know ‘when’ to break away and recoup. Not only for the other person, but for yourself. During a bipolar low these type of toxic people can trigger feelings of despair, loneliness and suicide. Every little quip they do that hurts you when you’ve asked them not to or to stop becomes a siren of pain.
5. Do Not Confront, Retreat into a Sacred Feel Good Space
Now more than ever is important to hold to constructive and loving speech. If your desire is to never speak with harm or hurt people (and it is definitely my desire and what I advocate for) then know that this is NOT the time to confront someone who may or may not listen, care, or may even use how you feel against you OR themselves later.
People who suppress their feelings and are passive-aggressive can also manipulate and use what you feel or do against them. Lashing out at someone gives them ammo, gives them reasons to justify and even at times indebt you to them. To make matters worse People in general are constantly numbering your sins and looking for reasons where you are more ‘trouble’ than you are worth to them. Sometimes when we confront someone we are trying to make it better, but when we are in a low we go about it all the wrong ways and we view everything as a ‘slight’ against us when in reality nothing anyone does is personal, no matter how personal we make it feel. It’s always about them, just like our reactions to them is about us.
It’s important to not give them anyone YOUR power of self-control, but also to maintain the practice of speaking only constructive (not destructive) thoughts, and to build people up ALL people, to accept people into your heart. You have to know when to turn away and love them from afar and simply observe your heart.
The only way to do this is to retreat into a sacred feel good space. Your own personal sanctuary. This is the place where you give yourself TLC. You cut out anyone who isn’t feeling good for you at this moment, binge watch your favourite show, pamper yourself laugh, cry. Deep down you may cry because the world on the surface is like that and rewarded for that, but you can also smile at the lessons it teaches you and the challenge it gives you to expanding your heart like a muscle, to loving, to being a stronger force for love.
Really take the time to care for yourself and work on recovery.
6. Observe Yourself, Seek The “Middle-Way”, The Neutrality, “The Truth” & Reconnect to Source
The Truth we think we know are really just opinions and ever-changing facts and how we perceive them through our current emotions at the time.
Emotions however are just ‘signals’, bringing attention to inner conflicts or freedoms from conflicts within ourselves. Through meditation, reflection and observation of myself I have monitored my lens and the switches enough to know that the switch of happiness and sadness are just states of being, they are not actually me. They are simply a lens like Love or Hate. And we can cultivate that vision. In time we can turn the switch on and off and observe how radically the world changes, how radically we change. How what once was true is now is a lie. I used to be confused when this happened, but now I see it as a symbol of nonduality, as a great time to get to the heart of reality. That reality isn’t the labels we apply to it or people.
Seek this ‘neutrality’, seek to see people from that place of love. That place where they are pure, and radiant and beautiful, that place underneath that shadow that we’re all connected. See it them, see it in yourself, and connect to that source.
7. Look For the Lesson, The Silver Lining
In a high or positive emotional state I might list all of a persons positive traits. The things that make that person awesome to have on your side and to really look for similarities. How are we alike rather t han focusing on the differences and all the negatives.
Seeing things from a positive or negative lens comes with it’s drawbacks. But being able to perceive life through a more neutral lens, how things just are without colouring them is important. To see a person and even a situation just as it is, beneath all the layers, underneath the core. To even learn to find love in that situation, to connect with that energy and source in it’s most neutral form, without need or want.
In those moments where I am still I need nothing fromanyone, and I can see through the relationships and the underlying business transaction that lies within all relationships. That relationships are a business transaction by which we rely on external factors for happiness. But it’s in these moments, that I can really see the illusions, and my entrapment in them. And it’s in those moments that I can only smile at the pain, and the situations and thank the situations that feel ‘bad’ for what it has taught me and how it has given me the opportunity to grow my heart larger. No one can really ‘make’ us feel anything that’s all within us. We create our own pain, it does not exist outside of our head. It feels very real because it is very real, but beyond our minds and bodies it doesn’t exist.
More importantly during a low I feel grateful because it allows me to see where I still need work, brings attention to things that still haunt me, and helps me utilize cumulative skills and mental priming to see those emotions for what they really are.
8. Feel Gratitude
Without the negative emotion an event or person or LOW challenging you, you would never realize your strength, and how big your heart can actually be. It may be hard to be grateful for it, but when I smile, I smile because I know even if I don’t ‘know’ it in this moment that my heart is bigger than this emotion, it’s expansive.
It’s in that sacred space that I can list all the things I am grateful for and happy towards in life, including the things that generate feelings of pain. Perhaps more so because of those feelings of pain that I can truly rise to the challenge of being Love and practicing compassion not just towards others but myself.
Even when I am tears I smile at my pain with compassion. I feel it in my hands, observe it, look over it. And I thank it for bringing attention to some things that I might not have known were there. But the biggest gift it brings attention to is letting me know where I need to appreciate life and people more, it’s helping me see my own Ego, where I’ve become too reliant or dependent on others, allows me to see places where I need to love more.
9. Let Yourself Be Scared
I always get a little scared sometimes in a Low that maybe my heart isn’t big enough. Maybe this is the moment I break, the moment I give in and die. Where I lose everyone and thing that matters to me and am left with this emptiness that I cherish when I feel neutral but fear when I come from a place of ego, emotion and self-preservation.
10. Visualize Love
I like to imagine meeting a higher version of myself and letting this being that radiates love take over my body so that I can check out. While I am checked out, I slip away into the garden within my mind a sanctuary. I meet the higher selves of others, like my friend. There I imagine our higher selves having a conversation, and I ask her and others what they came into my life to teach me, what lessons do they have to give and how can I best use this to help the world. I then turn to my higher self, or source, or love, or any entity I view as wiser than me or interconnected and connected with me. I let them fill me with their love, drink in the warmth of their love and let it soothe the burning pain in my heart and body like a cool balm that chills and warms my soul so that I feel cozy and snuggled up in a warm blanket. The womb of life. In this space I visualize all the places I feel lack are that I am unhappy with, and then I imagine little spheres or orbs of love vibrating and rising from my heart. I place these orbs of love into the places I feel lack. I fill those places with love and then I watch the orbs vibrate and frequency and rise and expand with me as we continue our expansion of love and becoming love.
Sometimes in this garden I ask for guidance. I look for solutions and opportunities. But when it’s all over and it comes time to leave the garden I step out and return to my body. I walk into a cottage within my mind take off my coat and scarf, sit on a sofa in front of a fireplace, drink hot tea and I bask in the feeling of warmth and love. I do all of this in my mind’s eye, and slowly but surely I feel myself start to feel better. This process becomes quicker with time and practice.