I often feel like I’m barreling into the holidays with the wheels flying off of the car. An illness in the family. The loss of a loved one. Financial strain. These stressors can take a toll on anyone. But those of us with bipolar disorder need to be particularly vigilant to protect the stability of our moods.
Hey Guys! It’s Jon Press for BP Magazine’s BPHope online community.
I love the holiday season! I love the music, the food, spending time and exchanging gifts with friends and family.
At the same time, I often feel like I’m barreling into the holidays with the wheels flying off of the car. An illness in the family. The loss of a loved one. Financial strain. These stressors can take a toll on anyone. But those of us with bipolar disorder need to be particularly vigilant to protect the stability of our moods.
With this in mind, I’d like to share a few tips for self-care during the holidays.
- ALCOHOL: With office parties and more social gathering this time of year, alcohol will be readily available. And let’s face it, when you deal with social anxiety and holiday stress, it’s an appealing option. But keep in mind that alcohol is a depressant. It can interfere with medication. It can reduce inhibitions paving the way for reckless words, impulse spending, and hyper-sexuality. Decide in advance whether you’re going to consume alcohol. And if you do choose to drink, set and keep your limits.
- Tis the season for carbs! My wife loves to bake. Friends and neighbors drop by with plates of yummy goodness. At the office, I’ll walk past a goody tray and inhale a couple of cookies on the way to a meeting. Quite honestly, I can easily down a dozen cookies just hovering at the counter without giving it much thought. This year, let’s make an effort to slow down and actually taste our food. Avoid eating at the computer or while driving to the next activity. Be intentional and enjoy the presentation. Make the experience special by using a real plate, chewing slowly and enjoying each bite.
- Declining Invitations: This time of year, our schedules can be driven by the needs, wants and demands of others. Declining invitations and setting boundaries does not make you a scrooge. But it can help prevent you from becoming one. Make sure to schedule some down time in the midst of holiday gatherings and commitments. Literally put it on the calendar and respect it as you would a doctor’s appointment.
- Doctors Appointments: And speaking of doctor’s appointments – mental health professionals are in high demand this time of year. Make sure to schedule appointments and request refills ahead of time.
- Finally guys, remind yourself that self-care isn’t selfish. The best gift you can give – to yourself and others – is a healthy and stable YOU.
So I’d love to hear about your plan for self-care this holiday season! Let’s interact in the space below.
For BP Magazine’s BPHope online community, I’m Jon Press wishing you and yours a great and peaceful holiday season.
via bpHope – bp Magazine Community