Bipolar New Year’s Resolutions Worth Having
I don’t believe in New Year’s resolutions, in general. That’s because people think far too big on January 1st and come up with things they have no hope of sticking to by February 1st. They have no plan. They have no short-term goals that lead up to the long-term goal. Their resolutions read more like wishes than anything else.
That being said, I think there are some New Year’s resolutions worth having for people with bipolar disorder. These New Year’s resolutions deal with the problems I see every day concerning bipolar disorder and are designed to address these issues.
1. Resolve to Deal With Your Anger
As I’ve mentioned before, out-of-control anger is not a symptom of bipolar disorder. That being said, a large number of people with bipolar disorder do seem to have anger issues and this could be due to the high prevalence of borderline personality disorder among those with bipolar disorder.
So if this is you, now is a good time to do something about it. Anger can ruin your life as sure as the symptoms of bipolar disorder. It can destroy relationships and even jobs. The best way to deal with this anger is to look at yourself. Look at what’s triggering the anger and what’s sitting beneath that trigger and that anger that is causing an out-of-control reaction. Some people find therapy very helpful in doing this.
2. Resolve to Initiate a Routine
Bipolar routines are essential to successful living with the disorder. You absolutely need to go to sleep at the same time, wake up at the same time, eat, exercise, take medications and do other things on a predictable schedule in order to set yourself up for success. Social rhythm therapy is one formal way people do this, but you can make a schedule of your own (with or without a therapist’s help) and vow to stick to it.
3. Resolve to Track your Moods
If you’ve never tracked your moods, take this moment to start. It’s easy to do and it can provide valuable insight into what’s happening with your bipolar disorder. Both you and your doctor will appreciate the data, especially when it comes to medication or lifestyle changes. It literally takes one minute a day and can tell you so much.
There are many ways to track your mood. HealthyPlace offers a free online mood tracker. One that I like, also free, for your phone is the T2 Mood Tracker. It’s made by the National Center for Telehealth and Technology and is available for Android and Apple phones.
4. Resolve to Reduce Your Stress
Stress has harmful effects on anyone’s mental health, let alone for people with a mental illness, so resolve to look at your life, determine where the stressors are, and eliminate or mitigate them wherever possible.
For example, is your commute really stressful? Maybe you can change to taking the bus so you can read a book on your way to work or maybe you can listen to an audiobook on the way to work to take your mind off of the bumper-to-bumper traffic.
5. Resolve to Learn Anxiety and Stress-Reducing Techniques
If you’ve resolved to lessen your stress but find there are stressors in your life you just can’t get rid of (oh, I don’t know, maybe kids?) then it’s time to think about learning how to reduce the feelings of stress internally. I recommend relaxation exercises, breathing exercises and meditation. You don’t have to be sitting cross-legged, wearing hemp and looking for transcendence for these things to work either. All you have to do is learn the techniques and practice them (ideally every day). (Check out BioZen and Breathe2Relax by the same folks as the T2 Mood Tracker for smartphone apps to help.)
Five Suggestions for Bipolar New Year’s Resolutions
And, of course, when I give you five suggestions for New Year’s resolutions, it doesn’t mean you have to do all five. Many people would find just one almost overwhelming. That’s okay. The idea is just to pick one thing, and it can be tiny, to do to improve your health.
So, can’t do a whole bipolar routine? No problem. Just focus on one part of a routine like taking your meds every day at the same time. It’s a little thing that can make a big difference.
Any of these resolutions can be handled the same way. And if you find great success? Then start adding more to it. But don’t worry if you slip up now and then, it’s natural. But no matter what, pick things that you know are good for you and that you want to do for the rest of your life, because that is what resolutions should be about – bettering ourselves.
Tracy, N. (2013, December 31). Bipolar New Year’s Resolutions Worth Having, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2021, March 3 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/breakingbipolar/2013/12/bipolar-new-years-resolutions
Author: Natasha Tracy
Leading up to and over the general "holiday" season I felt myself sinking once again into that ever increasing familiar abyss until finally I couldn't take it anymore and relented to increasing my current medication and resuming some of the others I had stubbornly dropped earlier in the year when I was feeling better (even though I knew full well they had helped me in the past).
I find winter months especially difficult but I really didn't want to take all that stuff again mostly because of the side effects. Despite that, I gradually and begrudgingly came to the conclusion it was necessary, at least to get me through this period so I finally succumbed to taking the necessary medication once again, at least for a while
Now that I'm starting to feel a little better and much more able to concentrate I've been reading a book by Amy Morin that I find has been somewhat helpful in changing my attitude and the way I've been looking at things over the years.
This book is called
"13 Things Mentally Strong People DON'T Do".
1. They dont't waste time feeling sorry for themselves
2. They don't give away their power
3. They don't shy away from change
4. They don't focus on things they can't control
5. They don't worry about pleasing everyone
6. They don't fear taking calculated risks
7. They don't dwell on the past
8. They don't make the same mistakes over and over
9. They don't resent other people's successes
10. They don't give up after the first failure
11. They don't fear alone time
12. They don't feel the world owes them anything
13. They don't expect immediate results
Amy also has some particular you tube videos I like that have gone viral and I find are worth watching. You can google them if you want to check them out
While I don't expect all these comments and suggests to change my thinking overnight, I do intend on attempting to make a few of them my New Years resolution
Hello, and thankyou for a great post. I am looking forward to getting to know your blog better : )
The tone, quality of information and understanding spirit with which your post was put forward prompts me to respectfully invite you to check out my blog about strategies, tools and tactics for living better with bipolar, depression and anxiety disorders. I am relatively new to blogging and am making first forays into the meeting people/networking side of things, so I hope I haven't been overly forward in my request. Regards, Zeb
How pleased I am to have "found" your site and pressed "like". The resolutions for Bipolars' is great information. Everything I've read from your notifications have inspired, informed and educated me, which is crucial in my managing and living productively with Bioplar Type II, Anxiety and PTSD conditions. Thank you and keep it coming.
What we need is a set of resolutions from the people who are playing various parts in our lives on how they are going to support our tete-a-tetes with bipolar and how can they contribute to a happier all-around kind of existence for everyone involved. Then let's get them to sign it and have it notarized. Wishing everyone an increasingly improving new year!
Oh you darling! This is the ONLY Resolution article I was willing to look at. I'm glad I did!
There are things I know but haven't done in a while and have being paying the price. Without a therapist to get on my ass I've let the basics slide. The most basic of all is sleeping on a schedule and taking medication at the same time every day, which you can't do if you're asleep when you're supposed to be up and taking the medication (duh). In the last while I've been just a MESS.
I have a sleep disorder to begin with. I was diagnosed early with chronic insomnia but I've also been bipolar II all my life so it's probably just the hypomania. I have been on a cycle of insomnia for as long as 35 hours running then sleeping for just as long in response. Back and forth with the predictable emotional and mental backlash. Awful! I have known this has to end. It's difficult to find the motivation to be diligent about it when I know that the depression will come around and blow me out of the water no matter what I do. But there is always an "in the meantime" if I work at it.
It does help to come here and be reminded that I'm not alone. I'm not the only one who needs to work hard to aim for a "middle ground". Happy New Year's to you.