Often financial pressure over Christmas can be really stressful; the pressure to 'keep up' with everyone else and give expensive gifts can be daunting and can make it tough to stay stable if you have a mental illness. For loved ones of someone with mental illness, they may not be sure what gifts they could give that would be helpful. Fear not, handmade gifts can be just as beautiful and even more special.
For those who live with a mental illness, whether it's bipolar disorder like me, depression, anxiety or any other diagnosis, the holidays can be tough. While for a lot of people it's a cheerful time with worries set aside, for those who struggle with their mental health, those struggles carry on regardless of the time of year.
This is a little bit different than my usual posts but I wanted to share my experience and my thoughts. I know that living with bipolar disorder can be brutal, it can be hard to survive never mind thrive, but I want to let you know that you can get through it and you can reach your goals.
When you live with bipolar disorder, a routine especially when it comes to sleep is something that becomes vital. Often a lack of sleep can contribute to a mood slipping too low or a lot of the time, too high.
For almost a year now my husband and I have been doing food prep, which means that we prepare our meals in advance for the week. We’ve found it extremely helpful in helping us to eat in a more healthy way, working around our busy schedules and around my mental and physical illnesses.
Being kind to yourself and ensuring that you are setting yourself up for success each day becomes even more important when you are living with extra challenges such as bipolar disorder or other mental illnesses. Life is hard enough to navigate when you are fighting your mind, so it’s important that you are proactive in doing all that you can to support yourself.
I’ve been struggling with the symptoms of my bipolar disorder since I was a pre-teen, despite only being diagnosed in my mid-twenties, so unfortunately, I’ve had plenty of experience with crisis services. I’ve experienced crisis services in hospital, through emergency services and through having a crisis team after my diagnosis. Some of these experiences have been absolutely horrendous and some have been literally lifesaving; sadly, the latter is in the minority.
Following on from my series of posts on suicide prevention, I want to talk about crisis services from the point of view of a patient. My dear friend, fellow writer and mental health warrior Hazel has kindly agreed to share their experiences with us of crisis services, the good and the bad.
World Mental Health Day is the 10th of October, this year’s topic is Suicide Prevention. It’s time to speak out, to get involved. I’ve compiled a list of practical ideas that you can get involved today, some more practical and some that can allow you to connect with how you are feeling and nurture your own mental health. These can also be used at any time, the conversation should be ongoing.