Do you ever fantasize about being able to follow a routine and not get knocked off the boat? If you’re anything like most people with bipolar disorder, this fantasy is a recurring one. Even though healthy patterns and schedules are part of what keeps us healthy, it seems like just a drop of anxiety will threaten all our progress!
The ability to set a schedule and design a routine is what separates the successful from the barely-surviving. But what are you supposed to do when you’ve got a lethal mental illness, whose hallmarks are disorganization, apathy, and extreme discomfort the minute your plans begin to escape in the process of life?
You set up your standards, as Mike demonstrates on today’s episode of The Bipolar Now Podcast. That way, when you lose a grip on your day it doesn’t spiral out of control. You simply come back to the standard and try again. And there’s endless grace for that. In time, most people will never know the challenge you overcome as you follow what appears to be a normal day.
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Use the questions in today’s Lifer Guide to help you out with the subject of routines, and all the difficulties that go along with it!
“Lifers” are special people who have unwavering faithfulness. This assures you that they’ll stick around through all the highs and lows that are normal for a life with mental health challenges. If you haven’t nominated a lifelong family member or friend as part of your non-medical support team, what are you waiting for? :-)
1) What’s the earliest routine you can remember being taught, that you still do today?
2) When was a time when you felt like your weekly routine was its best?
3) How did you arrive at that routine/schedule?
4) Describe your challenges now with making and keeping good routines? / Are there any bad routines that typically bother you?
5) How can I help you form one of the routines that Mike talks about in this episode? / Which one is the best to start with?
Once you’ve had a chance to talk or journal about these things you might have a question from this episode. If so, make sure you head on over to The Bipolar Now Podcast Group on Facebook! We all have our routines up-ended from us from time to time, but we’re not finished. And we’d love for you to share your experience with us when you’re ready. So don’t miss out!
Other ways to enjoy this episode
Don't go another week without at least modifying or improving one of the seven routines Mike uses in today's episode! Use this cheat sheet and check list to give you step-by-step instructions.