Home » Blogs » Bipolar Lifehacks » Happy New Year?

Happy New Year?


Photo by Dana
Photo by Dana

I rise at 4 a.m. A new year brings many new expectations – by us, for us and from others for us. Living up to these expectations is a painful burden, one we should consider shirking.


As a college professor and single mother of three daughters in college, I find I have many demands placed on my emotional energy. This time of year is so hard, the cold, the dreary days, weigh me down until I feel like I am trudging through my day mired in thick mud.

Photo by Nicola
Photo by Nicola

In the early morning

I am sure to use my bluelite in the dark morning hours before sunrise and in the late afternoon when the sun has set prematurely. I take my vitamins: B, loads of D, multi, Omega 3 and a bit of iron as well, since I tend to be anemic. I am fastidious with following a sleep/rise schedule, and plan my day to the hour.


Even with coffee

Still, in the afternoons, I find my mind drifting. Especially after having two weeks off for Christmas break, it’s difficult at best to get myself in gear for the coming spring semester. Even worse, my office shares a hallway with some very boisterous faculty members. This makes it difficult, in the very least, to concentrate on my work. I end up working in short bursts of time, lasting well past the quitting hour, just to complete my tasks.


Self portrait

Is it just me?

I often wonder if “normal” people feel this way? Am I the only one? Is it my bipolar acting up or is it just a personality quirk? You would think with all the meds, the vitamins, the lite, the fastidious scheduling and organization, not to mention the bible support group, depression support group and weight loss support group that I subscribe to online, that I would be one peppy lady. But I am not, and I struggle to complete even the most mundane tasks.


Even my writing has fallen by the wayside. Because until April hits and the time springs forward, I am generally stuck in this funk. And it’s not like I have much choice but to slog through the days and nights, trying so very hard to meet my responsibilities and doing only what I would call a marginal job. Not depressed so much, but foggy and frequently distracted. So, I am writing to you, Dear Reader. What have you tried for concentration and focus that I seem to be missing? What works for you?

Happy New Year?

Lisa Keith, Psy.D.

September 29, 2014 Lisa Keith,Lisa.Keith Psy.D. is a 20-plus year veteran special education teacher who has taught grades K-12 and now teaches graduate students who want to grow up to be special ed. teachers. When she’s not teaching or academically engaged, she is completely engrossed in 49er football or the art of Zentangle. A typical day for Lisa begins at 4 a.m. to check email, Pinterest and journal, followed by a hefty dose of coffee and hours of study. You can learn more about her here:

2 comments: View Comments / Leave a Comment



APA Reference
, . (2015). Happy New Year?. Psych Central. Retrieved on March 20, 2019, from


Last updated: 7 Jan 2015
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 7 Jan 2015
Published on All rights reserved.