The Holiday Season With Bipolar Disorder... Need I Say More?

November 19, 2013 Alexa Poe

This time of year is supposed to be special and joyful and full of fun. We all have our own ideas of the perfect holiday, the perfect family get-togethers and conversations, the perfect meal (Dealing with Bipolar at the Holidays – Expectations). But then life gets in the way and we’re all wrenched from our festive holiday bubble.

As soon as October comes, I’m in the holiday spirit. I start cleaning the house and decorating, scouring the Internet for craft ideas, and buying all of the pumpkin things. And then the engine in my car blows up and I have no mode of transportation as I’m studying for finals in time to graduate from college. I have no idea how to work through this right now, but here is how I’m going to try:

Ways to Get Through the Stress:

Write down everything that needs done. Every little thing. When I get this stressed out and overwhelmed, I even forget to eat sometimes. Make yourself a schedule -- as simple or as detailed as you need (What is a Bipolar Routine?).

Keep track of your moods and physical feelings. When your chest starts to ache and you notice that you can't take deep breaths, take a second to slouch back in your chair and breathe. It's okay to take breaks.

… And keep track of your caffeine intake.

The holiday season with bipolar disorder can wear you down fast. Here are a few ways to stay well during the holiday season. Take a look.

Set goals for yourself. If you become depressed during these high-stress times, remind yourself that your well-being is important. Make yourself get out of bed and shower, for example. That's a start.

Wake up early. Not at the crack of dawn (unless that works for you), but not at noon either. Try your best to be productive (How To Be Bipolar and High-Functioning). You'll feel good about it later.

… But don’t deprive yourself of sleep. We all know that plenty of sleep and a regular sleep schedule is essential in bipolar treatment. Don't be afraid to take naps if you need one (within reason, of course).

All of these are things that you hear from doctors, therapists, friends, and family, but they're incredibly important. When you take a step back and reflect on what needs to be done and what you want to get done, keep in mind that you can't do everything. You're not superhuman, even if you feel like it.

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APA Reference
Poe, A. (2013, November 19). The Holiday Season With Bipolar Disorder... Need I Say More?, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, July 23 from

Author: Alexa Poe

December, 6 2013 at 3:02 am

Usually I'm a reall Ms Scrooge re the holidays hate crowds,all the expenses,the
exhaustion I feel fighting this damn illness just makes it harder.....
Plus,the fact that I had quite the depressing trigger on the 28 th going to my GP.
His nice receptionist asked ( thinking I was back w my yes/ no bf this yr what our plans
were...owwwww....we've been broken up ( pray) for the rest of my life.
But the bite was the fact it was 5 yrs.....OMG.
So,I took my unjolly self to Sephora yesterday & bought ( well,maybe a bit $$$ over- the - top..Burberry perfume,a good mousturizer,and a margarita bubble bath!
Can't drink them ,but will smell nice like them!
Then I found my little mini Xmas tree,decorated it w glittery jewellery!
I will be SAFE SOUND and god willing!WELL.
Then I'm planning on trying........ Xmas dinner @ my sisters ...
She's agreed ( her idea) if I have a meltdown,she will no prob drive me home.
( we only live 1/2 h apart)
So moral of the story kids,is life doesn't always turn out the way we may want it to.
But it seems to always turn out the way we NEED it TO
Bipolar has NO easy fix....IT will MAKE you OR as in MY past NEARLY BROKE me..
If .....WE allow IT.
Many times thought BROKEN AND shattered.
So ,as as precautionary WARNING to those FEELING INDESTRUCTIBLE AND
NOT in need OF a DRS care
THINK that is BS.
Just read below please,then DECIDE.
YOUR responsible FOR your. LIFE.
Just to give you a rough idea,if this was Me @ age 20 I'd be be hoovering Peru up my
Nose like a vacuum cleaner then maybe hitting wine or Tequila or...BOTH?????

November, 26 2013 at 2:43 am

Ps excuse the run on but this may prove important towards healing as well.
I wear and am learning about the healing powers of stones..
Not talking $1000 rocks from Cartier either!
Amber,rose quartz,amethyst.
Call me a hippie if u want,I've been called worse!!! :-)
Don't knock it till you try it....
Shop may help some others,as well
Hence the post.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Alexa Poe
November, 26 2013 at 4:11 am

Thank you! Yes, actually, this is a belief I have myself. I'm one of those "hippies," too. ;)

November, 26 2013 at 2:38 am

Hi Alexa.
Your ideas are basically the majority of my coping skills.
During holidays,I make an extra effort to get a nap in yes,EVERYDAY.
Don't need to sleep,just rest( part of my normal daily routine,too.)
Stay away from too much stimulation,but try not to be excessively bored ( BALANCE!)
I use aeromatherapy ,hot herbal baths,pet therapy,( kitty cuddles)
Try remember perfection isn't the goal,good health is & I don't let anyone/anything
Stand in the way of that..
I do things for ME now not to please FORMER mr EX or my family.
I remember I have my BFF I talk to many times a day online whose also mentally il
I remind myself we've been BFFS over 30 yrs....not very many women have that...
I try to remember,I feel better when bathed,and my face clean/ moisturized
I feel better w clean hair.
It doesn't take my bipolar away,nothing we all know..
OMG of course,I take,as usual,all my meds on time ( as usual)
I'm mostly all vegan,gave up caffeine many months ago..
Watch my sweet intake,I don't smoke,so..that's good...
I try & stay in the's detrimental to depression,I find to live in the past.
It's over,already.
The excercise thing is hard,as we get very chilly & snowy..
But on the ok days I will walk to/ from the grocery shop... 1/2 h walk..
I noticed a change ..simply w/out caffeine..
My meds seemed to work better,my sleep seemed better..
Last not least..let the sun in!
Open my drapes,but as also a migraine sufferer...again,same old holds
And absolutely,as it makes ME VERY very SICK no ALCOHOL.
Gave up the street drugs eons ago.
I cheers w my tea to THAT huge ONE!
Don't reccommend either option to ANYONE ANY AGE w THIS DISEASE!!!
MY bagel ( 12 grain,of course) is now I will go get some more food in my tummy other than fruit.
Helps when you've a huge med cocktail,too..ciao:-)

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Alexa Poe
November, 26 2013 at 4:10 am

Thank you for all of these ideas! It's great that you have a support network, and you're lucky to have such a great friend!
Take care and keep in touch,

November, 25 2013 at 4:27 am

Thank you so much for posting this. I don't feel so alone or inadequate.
This exactly how I feel? I have expectations of my own & some with my son & very small amount of family & friends.
Controlling & or hiding my mental health is harder as I age? I have worked so hard
to take care with therapy, meds & recovery for almost 25 years! But depression & anxiety are still part of my life. I am almost 47 and with one beautiful 7 year old son & my best friend as life partner/spouse for close to 18 years makes life worth it, but mental health and hormones
PMDD, maybe Peri menopause are Interfering. Each year I have made some progress in some way I hope. I love the lights & enchantment, giving thanks, being peaceful but not the commercial idea we all somehow fall trap to? To live & learn I guess? I am grateful to you and wish all peace & blessings everyday, this holiday season & in the new year!

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Alexa Poe
November, 26 2013 at 12:46 am

Thank you so much for replying and for your kind words!
You're definitely not alone, nor are you inadequate. I hope that your holiday is peaceful and enchanting as you like, and that you and your family are well.
Take care,

November, 21 2013 at 7:37 am

Hi Alexa :) Stress does seem to come at holiday time. It isn't always easy to relax,sometimes we want to do it all and do become overwhelmed and stressed out. I like your idea of planning,even baby steps help out. It's okay to say no too, our health must come first. I wish you a Happy Thanksgiving, success in your final exams, and a better mode of transportation. :)

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Alexa Poe
November, 21 2013 at 2:20 pm

Hi there! Thank you so much! :)
I hope you have a great holiday as well, and I hope you're well!
Take care,

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