Reaching your SMART goals with bipolar disorder gives you a sense of accomplishment, a feeling like no other. Living with bipolar disorder poses challenges, but you don't have to give up your hopes and dreams, no matter how big or small. It would benefit you to learn to be flexible, patient, and realistic with yourself. Goals aren't reached overnight. Regardless of your goal (physical, emotional, academic, professional, or personal), it is important to set yourself up for success. Using SMART goals with bipolar helps you to do that.
Bipolar Recovery - Bipolar Vida
I don’t know anyone who likes to ask for help from their bipolar support system. No one wants to feel like they can’t handle things on their own or like a burden to others. The impact that mental health conditions such as bipolar can have on our lives requires us to seek help (Asking for Help Because of Bipolar). This is where having a bipolar support system that is equipped to help you comes in handy and you must help your support systemp in order to allow your support system to help you.
Every year, I make a list a couple weeks before New Year’s of the things that I want to accomplish in the upcoming year. I tell myself that I will start working on my list on January 1 of the new year, and that this year will be my best one yet. Come February, I’m back to my old ways.
I’ve read and heard about the mental health benefits of journaling for years. For those living with a mental illness, journaling as self-care can be even more beneficial and therapeutic. I’ve always loved the idea of journaling; the book itself, the pens, the prompt, but I could never seem to keep up with it. I never knew what to put in it once I got started. Over time, though, I realized that there isn’t a right or a wrong way to journal. I think of it as a “stream of consciousness.”
A professor of mine died last week after a long battle with pancreatic cancer. I had him during my first semester at university for a human spirituality course, and even though I didn’t know him well, I thought he was amazing and admired him very much. He was brilliant and charming and funny, and during the service, so many of his students and colleagues, peers, and other experts in his field spoke of how caring and gentle he was, how he could shrug off anything and just be at peace.
While brainstorming ideas for this week's blog, I kept noticing that all of the tips and suggestions that our doctors and support groups give us throughout our bipolar recovery are repetitive, and can become frustrating to hear over-and-over again. I always think to myself I do those things! I'm trying! but I always seem to find myself stuck in that rut of hopelessness. I try my best to maintain a regular sleep schedule, I exercise, I track my moods... But while in school, I still feel completely overwhelmed and hopeless as if I haven't learned any coping strategies at all (Bipolar Disorder and the Pressure to Get Better). So this week, I've decided to do something a little different. While waiting to fall asleep the other night, I created a mental list of little things that may seem silly to some, but that I have realized have helped me throughout my time away at school and during tough times --things that a lot of doctors never really think of or mention to students with bipolar disorder.
When bipolar disorder's irrational thoughts occur, how does one even begin to make friends? In public, I feel as if everyone is watching me and talking about me, or making internal judgments. I'm acutely aware of every person in the vicinity; watching their movements, noticing any eye contact, listening for whispers. Cognitively, I know that this is irrational (Co-Occurring Bipolar and Anxiety Disorders). I know that I am not the center of everyone's attention, that there is nothing wrong with my physical appearance and actions. In all reality, the majority of those people haven't even given me a second thought. But when you experience bipolar disorder's irrational thoughts, it can be difficult to make friends.
I wasn't coping with my thoughts of giving up on school very well the year before I was due to graduate. I was ready to quit school. I would sit in my therapist's office and cry at the thought of going back to campus that following Monday, and it negatively affected my mental health. I would freak out and cry at the drop of a hat, I would freeze up in class and become so jittery that I could barely sit in class.
Lately, I feel as if I've hit a roadblock in my recovery. I take my medications regularly, I go to therapy, I exercise, but I've hit a wall that I can't seem to move past (Bipolar Treatment: If I'm Doing Everything Right Why Am I Still Sick?). The other day, I received a book from a good friend of mine: Sane: Mental Illness, Addiction, and the Twelve Steps by Marya Hornbacher, and I started thinking about new things that I could incorporate in my life.
Should taking bipolar medications bother me? Psychiatric medications, including bipolar medications, are at the center of many controversial debates. Many people feel as if taking bipolar medications daily means that they are completely dependent upon them, while others believe that medications are necessary for their bipolar disorder treatment.