Tips on Bipolar Disorder and Planning

November 3, 2015 Natasha Tracy

Last time I talked about why it’s so hard to plan ahead and stick to plans with bipolar disorder. Today’s article is devoted to tips that may help with planning and bipolar disorder.

Planning with Bipolar Disorder

  • Plan anyway. Know that there is uncertainty and that things may change – drastically – between now and your plan, but plan anyway. Give yourself a point to aim for. You can’t have relationships, have a job or really be successful at all if you absolutely flat-out refuse to plan.
  • Make plans that are reasonable for you. For me, it’s totally normal to go out with my friends for brunch on the weekend and then go home and work. But for someone else, those two things might not work well combined together. Don’t plan on scaling a mountain if walking up the stairs is as much as you can reasonably accomplish.
  • Planning with bipolar is tough, use these tips to successfully plan if you have bipolar disorder.Try to plan with a bit of flexibility. For example, rather than saying that you’ll be at a friend’s place at 5:00 p.m., try saying you’ll be there 5-ish.
  • Work towards a plan like a goal. Don’t let plans just jump on your lap; actually plan for your plan. So, if I’m going to dinner with a friend one night, I might take a nap during the day so that I know I’m awake enough to really engage with her. Take the steps that you need to take to make your plan successful.
  • Don’t hesitate to change the plan if you need to. Now, be careful with this one because if you change every plan, every time, you’re going to tick people off, but if, sometimes, you need to change times, locations, days or so on, it really is okay.
  • Do it anyway. I know that sometimes the bed calls to us or the television lures us and that these options feel infinitely easier than working on a project or engaging with others. I get that. But, really, suck it up and do it anyway. (Beating Bipolar: Do What You Don't Want to Do) I’m not trying to be unkind, I’m just saying that sometimes we have to do things we don’t want and don’t feel like doing because, in the end, it’s best for us. You can’t always do this, but try to push yourself now and then.
  • If you need to cancel plans, reschedule. Try not to cancel plans full-stop without substituting another plan. Don’t let yourself off the hook that easily.
  • If you change plans, explain why (to some extent). Remember, if you change plans on a person he or she might think it’s him or her. It’s not. Make sure to explain that you just need to change plans for you; it’s not that you don’t want to see the other person.
  • Don’t give up. Just because you couldn’t follow through on plans yesterday doesn’t mean that you won’t be able today. Remember, we can get worse any day but we can get better, too.

I guess what I’m saying is that you should treat planning like something important – because it is. It’s how we engage with others and engage with the world at large and, really, without that, not only will you be alone, but you’ll likely be sicker for it, too.

Do you know any tips on planning successfully with bipolar?

You can find Natasha Tracy on Facebook or Google+ or @Natasha_Tracy on Twitter or at Bipolar Burble, her blog.

APA Reference
Tracy, N. (2015, November 3). Tips on Bipolar Disorder and Planning, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, June 21 from

Author: Natasha Tracy

Natasha Tracy is a renowned speaker, award-winning advocate, and author of Lost Marbles: Insights into My Life with Depression & Bipolar. She's also the host of the podcast Snap Out of It! The Mental Illness in the Workplace Podcast.

Natasha is also unveiling a new book, Bipolar Rules! Hacks to Live Successfully with Bipolar Disorder, mid-2024.

Find Natasha Tracy on her blog, Bipolar BurbleX, InstagramFacebook, and YouTube.

April, 6 2018 at 10:21 am

I needed to read this thismorning. I had to change a plan I had made with my daughter and grand daughter and I was feeling so guilty. I did not sleep well two nights in a row and am exhausted. I tried really hard to just suck up. I do that often and it was nice to read it. But today i just couldn't. But I did do what you suggested. I rescheduled. I'm proud of myself. Thank you for these tips. It really helps to know others have the same kind of problems. It makes it easier too deal with just k knowing that.

glenda munnik
October, 22 2016 at 7:24 pm

Thanks for sharing . I am so grateful for this information . I will definitely practice this.

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