Bipolar When It Counts











{June 22, 2012}   Question of the day #4

Ok, here’s todays question of the day.  I was told that because of my meds, I can’t take any cold remedies.

So what do you do when you can’t take anything? How do you deal with being sick?

Share your answers below. I look forward to hearing from you!

-Lauren

If you have any issues you would like to see here, or articles and stories you would like to share, you can leave me a comment below, or email me at lmhennebury@hotmail.com

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{June 8, 2012}   Should do???

Ok, ok, I know my last entry was boring. But honestly, its an issue that we all face. One of the biggest problems that I deal with every single day is trying to do too much. A ‘must do’ schedule is vital for me to make sure I get the basics taken care of. Sure, it might sound sole enough, get out of bed, have coffee/ breakfast, shower and dress. But if I don’t have those reminders, it is very easy for me to get caught up in the ‘want to do’s.’

I know its a bit late, but here is a strategy for that ‘should do’ list I mentioned.

1.  Take a look at this list every day. Is there something on it that you can do now? After lunch?  Feel free to add those to your schedule to the day.

2.  Forgive yourself.  This is so important. If you are too busy, run out of time, or just feel too overwhelmed with your day, go ahead and not do it. There is no need to feel badly because you forgot to vacuum under the couch cushions. Believe me, the only one who cares is you.

Whatever you do, DO NOT BEAT YOURSELF UP OVER YOUR MISSED ACTIVITIES! All you end up doing is causing more stress for yourself.

I realize that all this may sound ridiculous at the moment, but trust me when I say that it can make a big difference when trying to manage bipolar disorder.

Think of it almost as a kind of therapy.  It pairs nicely with meds and support groups (which fits under the category of appointments in my next entry). 

Just try it. Once you establish a good routine and your supports are familiar with it as well, amazing things can happen.  And, as your mood changes from high to low, or vice versa, you may be able to pick up on the hints that a mood change is coming.  A warning that maybe all is not well.

Here’s a challenge.  Try this for a few weeks.  If you haven’t already, go back and read my last entry on creating a ‘must do’ list.  Make your own lists, and then a schedule that works for you.  Let me know how it goes. And I’m always ready and able to answer any questions. If you want some privacy, email me.

Good luck, and don’t forget to let me know your thoughts!



{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!



et cetera
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