Bipolar When It Counts











{June 5, 2012}   What day is it?

Oh what a day. And night. Last night we ended up babysitting a friend’s little boy. He had never spent the night away from home, so getting him changed and ready for bed was a bit of a challenge. At 11pm he was still running around and yelling, so we decided to walk to the store nearby. It took sooo long to get there, even though we carried him most of the way. We got him a small treat and went home again. He finally settled at about 1am. Then he was up at 7 this morning.

I have wandered through this day immensely confused because of this little visitor. I can’t seem to figure out whether I am coming or going today.

The point of this is the necessity of routine in the life of someone with a mental illness. Even a simple break from routine can cause long-lasting results.

TIPS FOR MAKING AND KEEPING A ROUTINE

1. Make a list of everything that you need to do every single day. A list will help you to see your daily activities, allowing you to break it down.

2. Break your list up into must do and should do. Be honest about it. Things like dressing, taking meds, showering, and eating should go on the must do list. Things like laundry and house cleaning can do on the should do list.

3. Using your must do list, make a schedule. It doesn’t have to be pretty or perfect. It’s just a rough outline, so you can see how your day is going to look. image

This is what mine started out looking like. Nothing spectacular or fancy.

4. Now its all down to the timing. What time do you get up? Take your meds? I know you have likely been told to do these things at the same time every day, and it really is true. It helps. So, copy out your list and add the times to it. Get up at 8. Meds at 9. You get the picture. (At this point, it would be a good idea to type it out, or have someone do it for you.)

5. Make lots of copies and stick them everywhere. On your fridge. Taped to your bedroom door, or mirror. In your bathroom. Put them up anywhere you can think of.

6. Last step. If you have a cell phone, iPod, or any other electronic calendar, program everything into it. You can program alarms to remind you to do anything you need.

Check back tomorrow for tips for your should do list. Thursday I’ll talk about how to deal with all those pesky doctor’s appointments.

If you have a tip or trick that you use to organize your day, let me know! You can never have too many strategies!

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