Great Question, Catie!
The two most important things you can do in my book are:
1) Reduce your Stress!!
2) Set a regular bedtime and waking time and stick to it faithfully!!
Also here are a couple other things -
1) Reduce the caffeine as much as you possibly can. I don't even keep pop in the house - I have to out to get one!
2) Try to eat a truly balanced meal - sounds like something your mom would tell you, but the truth is that our body chemistry is challenged enough without eating fad diets, or no fruits/vegetables, or all sugar!
3) Read everything you can get your hands on - medical books, internet searches, novels, biographies about people who are Bipolar.
4) I finally (at age 35) found myself in a stable & Healthy relationship. It makes all the difference in the world.
And, I have to tell you that one of the main things I did to help me cope over the lasat few years was come here once - and return over and over again. What a great bunch of people - some are still here from that long ago - and so many people have helped. And understood mania and depression unlike trying to explain it to the average person.
And have been there - like you have!
Ok, nuff from me - I know there are other people out there with things that help!