The emotional pressure, temptation to spend too much, drink too much, other peoples’ expectations of us (or our distorted perceptions of them) is upon us- the list of triggers and stressors just go on and on.  Welcome to the Christmas Holdiays. One of the worst times for a bipolar person to be dealing with right now.

This is the holiday us bipolars dread the most and thats because the mood shifts challenge the struggle to stay sane. It’s holiday time, and this is my guide on how you can stay focused and not end up being sectioned by New Years Eve.
  1. Refrain from drinking ALCOHOL or doing DRUGS.                                                     
  2. Yep, the clues are in capital letters. I cannot stress this enough and this is brought on based on my own experiences. Around this time last year I went on a 4 day manic bender. This just confirmed the bipolar in me. If you want to know more about why this is number one on the guide list then please read My Story and yo may want to re-think even touching a ginger beer during the holidays. Keep your mood shifts at bay. Nobody wants to call the bipolar police (BBP).
  3. Maintain Strategies of Coping.                                                                                                    Dont think because you’ve been good the whole year with recovery that it’s time you finally let your hair down and relax. This kind of “relaxing” will freak the bipolar out in you. Keep tracking your moods through mood charting, keep reminders on your phone to take medication. If your maintaining well, just keep up to speed with them, it goes down a treat in the long run, and hey, you’ll have a good entrance into 2013!
  4. Sleep, Sleep….SLEEP!!!                                                                                                                     Again, I cannot stress this one enough either. The holidays can emotionally and physically wear you out to the point where sleep is forgotten about. Then hey presto! Lets open the door to manic madness. Lack of sleep is a major trigger into mania or depression so get the same amount of sleep as you would plus more for rest and keep your brain sharp and alert for celebrations to come.
  5. Stick to Your Medication Regime                                                                                                                           Very important. Very very important. Set extra alarms, tell someone to remind you. Even when you’re having the time of your life and you feel as if you dont need it, take it. One day of regret can result in long term regret. Once you’ve taken it, you dont have to think about it all Christmas, so just get it out of the way.
  6. Avoid the “Disease To Please” and Think Reasonably.                                           
  7. Dont start promising things that will be difficult for you to deliver and cause you problems further on down the road. This can be anything from agreeing to take over planning Christmas and making a real life copy of the front of a magazine to promising your sister-in-law that you dont get along with that you’ll come over and spend time with her family. Doing so would be like telling your brain that you’ll try to avoid mood shifts when you’re in one at that moment. It’s a bit cruel to yourself to put pressure like that especially when you know you can’t fulfill it.

The Motto of The Survival Guide Story

Put your bipolar in check. Make it your number one priority. Put it in its place. Without doing this first, how are you meant to enjoy the holidays? Look after your mental health is the motto. It will do you wonders, for yourself and the holidays.

Merry Christmas, Have a Happy Bipolar New Year (Excluding the alcohol)
 


Bipolar Daisy
24/12/2012 7:35pm

Thanks for writing this guide, I needed something to follow like a guideline and youve just given me one. Keep writing the way you do and you'll be helping raising awareness around the world :)

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