When you're in the grips of an ongoing bipolar episode, there really isn't much you can do to help yourself.  Therefore, any positive attempts at self-help would be on an ongoing basis to try to prevent episodes.Obviously, the most important thing is to take your medication, as that is the best way to insure stability of your moods.  If you don't feel right, however, or are experiencing side effects, contact your doctor right away.  Bipolar medication is not meant to make you suffer, but to help stabilize you.  Many side effects can be easily managed – just check with your doctor for advice.Self-help methods include any activities in which you may engage that will help keep you the most stable with your moods.  Following are some suggestions for self-help options, in addition to taking your medications on a regular schedule:[1]-  Regular physical exercise.-  Setting and maintaining a standard bedtime and wake-time.-  Practicing relaxation or meditation exercises regularly.-  Reducing work and family stress as much as is practical.-  Eating a healthy diet at regular times each day.-  Regular participation in communities (including peer-support groups, religious communities or other civic or interest-based regular gatherings)-  Regular attendance in psychotherapy-  Regular self-monitoring exercises designed to help promote awareness of moods-  Avoidance of mood-altering drugs, including alcohol.These self-help approaches can help you increase your ability to resist the emotional (mood) swings so characteristic of your bipolar disorder.  If you can "head it off at the pass," so to speak, you may be able to take steps to minimize the severity and impact of that oncoming mood swing.If you also have a good, strong support system, the people in it can help you to monitor your moods as well.  If you need to, ask one of them to help you, as they can be more objective than you can.Having a social life, even if it is just going to a bipolar support group, is yet another way that you can help yourself to stay stable.[1] Rashmi Nemade, Ph.D. & Mark Dombeck, Ph.D