This page is a collection of wisdom I’ve gathered over decades.

Tips to Declutter

• leave anything needed/meaningful and sort the rest.
• temporary storage bag is for items you’re not sure what to do with. Store for a while and donate anything you haven’t retrieved.
• don’t linger! your goal is to filter items into bags. don’t get sucked into albums, journals, playlists, etc.
• complete one area before moving on.

Try not to buy more storage bins. Consider the possibility that if you clear out some stuff you don’t need, you won’t need more bins to store stuff you don’t need.

Tips for Insomnia

Being bipolar, I always have to prioritize sleep to stay stable, especially in spring. I’ve been quietly sleeping well for the past two months without tossing, turning, or medication. At the risk of jinxing it, I’m sharing these tips because they’re what finally cured my insomnia. I don’t use melatonin or a weighted blanket, just routine, discipline, and a white noise machine. I’m not always perfect (it’s hard to resist Netflix drama or the lure of my phone sometimes) but I try. And it seems to be working, knock on wood. It took many months of relative consistency. It was worth it.

Tips for Racing Thoughts

Visualize a STOP sign and BREATHE. I like the finger-trace technique.

Pick a mental or physical distraction: 54321, feel-then-flip, gratitude notes, CBT/journal, cook, workout, run errands, go for a walk, reset senses with water/ice, dance/sing, heat/cold, etc.

Repeat if needed. Then focus on something so your mind doesn’t start to spin again.

Writing Tips

*Set a daily goal, using words or time. Mine is 1 hour or 700 words.
*Write at the same time every day. Similar to working out, doing it early ensures it gets done.
*Edit yesterday’s writing before starting today’s. This helps ease you in and means you’ve already edited once upon completion.
*Don’t edit while you write. You can do it tomorrow. It’s easy to get caught in an editing loop and run out of time to write.
*End today’s writing mid-scene, paragraph or even sentence. This’ll help prevent writer’s block.

Finding Inspiration

Some of Gandhi’s wisdom for anyone struggling with resolutions or motivation in general. It’s helped me overcome personal obstacles in the past, and I still rely on it when I don’t feel inspired. I remember this quote when questioning if it’s worth doing something that pleases me but seems like a waste of time, like knitting or drawing or every attempt to grow anything from seed. Gandhi reminds me that harmless joy is always worth pursuing.

Sharing Awkward News

I found it easy to share my bipolar 1 diagnosis online when it happened. But in person was another story.

Since then I developed a strategy to reveal personal info that might kill a conversation. First, I state it in a way that barely requires a response: I don’t know if you know but I’m bipolar. This gives my audience an easy out because it’s a Yes or No answer. It’s always No. Then I tell a short version of my story. While I talk they have time to figure out what to say. It works so well that I no longer hesitate to tell anyone, ever.

There is a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in.

— Leonard Cohen

Don’t beat yourself up for mistakes. Try to just do the next right thing.

— Clint Malarchuk

© Charise Jewell, 2022