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Dealing with Routine Change and Bipolar Disorder

March 26, 2024 Natasha Tracy

I've recently undergone a routine change with my bipolar disorder. This has been harder to adapt to than you might think. I find doing the same thing every day has a protective effect on bipolar disorder, so removing that rhythm can do the opposite. A change in my bipolar routine has officially thrown me off my game.

My Bipolar Routine Change

About a month ago, there was a fire in my building. I'm fine; my kitties are fine; my apartment is fine. Unfortunately, the building is not fine. I've been displaced ever since. I have insurance, and it has been paying for accommodations (less a deductible), and while staying in Airbnbs has been a lifesaver, it has disrupted my bipolar routine dramatically.

Why Does It Matter If a Bipolar Routine Changes?

It varies from person to person, but a bipolar routine is what helps me get things done. It's what helps me get my writing done. It's what ensures I'm taking my medications as prescribed. It's what makes sure I get the proper sleep. While I can, in theory, do any of those things without a routine in place, I'm more likely to veer off course and forget to do what I need to do when I need to do it without a routine. (More on bipolar routines here.)

How to Deal with a Change in Your Bipolar Routine

In my new accommodations, I'm trying to deal with the change in my bipolar routine by doing the following:

  • I've implemented as much of my routine as possible in my new environment. Sleep is the most critical component, meaning sleep hygiene is a priority. Nothing is quite the same, but I'm doing my best. (I brought my own pillow, which I've found comforting and helpful.)
  • I've set things up in my new space in a way that facilitates what I need to do. 
  • I've left physical reminders of what to do in my environment. For example, my medications are kept in divided containers beside the fridge, so I remember to take them on schedule.
  • I've written notes for myself and created reminders on my phone. 
  • I've continued to get my meal prep deliveries in my new accommodation.
  • I'm trying to maintain the same routine with my cats (feeding times, medication administration, etc.). Keeping them on schedule helps keep me on schedule, too.

I've not enjoyed having my bipolar routine changed. That said, I'm trying to mitigate it the best ways I know how.

How do you keep yourself on track when your bipolar routine changes?

APA Reference
Tracy, N. (2024, March 26). Dealing with Routine Change and Bipolar Disorder, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, May 22 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/breakingbipolar/2024/3/dealing-with-routine-change-and-bipolar-disorder



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.

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