Dealing with Bipolar Disorder is a war. Each day is a continual battle in this ongoing war for your Bipolar Recovery.
To deal with the daily onslaught of Bipolar Disorder, you need a strong arsenal.
Many individuals maintain a routine and utilize various coping skills to get through the day. Sometimes it is too difficult to make it through a day and it is a matter of survival from one hour to the next.
Life and the battle of Bipolar Disorder is a journey. Like any journey, a roadmap helps to navigate the route.
Personally, I found two ways to help navigate through Bipolar Disorder. I have created both a Wellness Plan and Crisis Plan. Taking the time to create these plans will help you to lead a more proactive, productive and fulfilling life.
This is a plan to tackle each day to work towards your Bipolar Recovery.
To start off, make a list of all your healthy coping skills. Coping skills are ways that you deal with the various symptoms of your illness. The dictionary defines coping skills as “methods a person uses to deal with stressful situations”.
From this list, you want to create a rough schedule of activities that you will follow each day. These are the coping skills you have to follow on a daily basis to help maintain your stability.
For example, I have a few ideas to help you start creating your Wellness Plan.
I have a wake time of 6am and bedtime of 10pm.
I take my medication upon waking and at 9pm each night, about an hour before bed.
I eat three meals a day, breakfast, lunch and dinner, along with two snacks.
Each day, I engage in at least 30 minutes of exercise.
Upon waking and right before I go to sleep, I take a couple minutes to list what I am grateful for.
I utilize aromatherapy each day around 5:30pm. I fill up a diffuser with distilled water and add 5 drops of my oil. I let it run until it needs refilling, which is around 24 hours later.
Remember, you need to create a list of non-negotiables to take place each day. These are the activities you need for stability.
The ideas I gave you are my list of non-negotiables.
A crisis plan takes effect when you start to get sick and your wellness plan no longer works.
It is a good idea to have the name of your Psychiatrist and Therapist along with their contact information first and foremost on your Crisis Plan.
Your Crisis Plan is an actual contingency plan.
For example, I have discussed with my psychiatrist what I should do if I start having sleepless nights. I have a PRN medication I take to make sure I get to sleep and do not become manic.
In addition, I give access to all our money and cards to my wife. She takes over the sole responsibility for the finances to make sure I do not make any bad decisions.
When it comes down to it, a Wellness Plan is designed to help you keep stable and healthy.
A Crisis Plan should take effect when you get sick and are in need of support.
Create both your Wellness Plan and Crisis Plan for your specific situation. No two plans will be the same for individuals just like the symptomology is different between two patients with Bipolar Disorder.
Use your Wellness Plan and Crisis Plan as a proactive way to deal with your Bipolar Recovery. These two tools can help in your ability to thrive through Bipolar Disorder instead of just surviving it.