Bipolar Disorder, Resilience and Work (Part 2)

July 22, 2011 Peter Zawistowski

In part one of this series, I mentioned that one of the traits for success in business is resiliency. Resilience is the ability to adapt and rebound when plans or schedules don’t go as they should. Resilience also comprises commitment, such as commitment to one's goals. How does someone with bipolar disorder develop resilience?

One of the first items to do is setting a few goals. Long term and short term goals, with an emphasis on the short terms goals first. Short term goals bring with their completion, small rewards. Daily type short term goals can be as simple as keeping your desk clear of papers, eating lunch when you should or keeping track of your use of time. Once you have a track record of completing a few daily goals, it is time to establish a few longer term goals. Some of these goals can be accomplished in a month, three months or longer. These goals can be similar in work life and personal life. Goals such as maintaining sleep patterns over a long period of time or paying bills on time. Meeting work deadlines on a consistent basis.

You can practice resilience by doing jigsaw or crossword puzzles. Resilience is a learned response. Anything that involves patience, trial and error are the types of challenges that help build resilience. Do not confuse productivity with goal setting. You will still use goals to achieve better productivity. An increase in productivity may not help in achieving goals.

Another depiction of resilience is cheerfulness or a sense of humor. Being able to take matters lightly when requested is another practiced response. Once patience is learned through trial and error, the next step having a sense of humor with trial and error puzzles. Frustration is a part of living and a part of business. Not letting frustration change our mood or derail our commitments and goals is key.

Flexibility is another trait of the resilient person. Again this is a learned response, with the same type of challenges and puzzles are great practice. Trial and error is flexibility in action. Being able to change course or direction when there is a need. Business world may have the boss or supervisor changing your work even if you are close to completing a project. Flexibility allows you to “pick up” your tools, computer work or help doing some manual labor without frustration ruining your day. Flexibility is also about choices, you can decide to be a victim in many situations. You can choose to have tantrum, to whine, to chill out or take a deep breath and move on. Not treating a situation more seriously than it should be.

The final detail is personal control. Those with depression or bipolar disorder have the difficulty with events which they cannot control. They feel powerless and may feel lost in the situation. Resilient people don't think they are powerless or view themselves as victims. One of the practice games that may help in personal control are complex games such as mufti-person video games. Complex sports can also be of help in personal control. Learning how to deal with other team members, work with team members, opposite team members and will play a game that is constantly running is great experience. Sports such as volleyball, soccer and basketball are some of the best sports.

Resilience is a gradual learning process. It can be useful in both personal and work situations. These are only recommendations on building resilience, there are many more. Test a few out and try the ones that work for you.

APA Reference
Zawistowski, P. (2011, July 22). Bipolar Disorder, Resilience and Work (Part 2), HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, June 22 from

Author: Peter Zawistowski

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