Why is planning ahead important if I have bipolar disorder?

John Preston, PsyD
Even with the best stress management skills in the world, we'll all have bad days sometimes. Planning ahead for stressful times can help. Especially for people with bipolar disorder, who may have unexpected mood swings with unknown consequences, it can help to make sure work assignments, chores, and other important tasks are done earlier than the deadline in case an episode comes on suddenly. You can also make a habit of maximizing your productivity during times when you're full of energy to make up for the times when you're slogging through the day.

Keeping everything in order and completing tasks early when you have energy helps reduce the impact of unfinished tasks and low energy when your functioning is lower. Planning ahead can reduce the stressor of the unknown and the anxiety that can so easily trigger a manic or depressive episode. Planning ahead also means to schedule time for yourself, your exercise, and your family and friends. We reveal our priorities by how much attention we give to the people and things in our lives, so show how important you are to yourself by scheduling time for you.
Bipolar 101: A Practical Guide to Identifying Triggers, Managing Medications, Coping with Symptoms, and More

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Bipolar 101: A Practical Guide to Identifying Triggers, Managing Medications, Coping with Symptoms, and More

After receiving a bipolar diagnosis, you need clear answers. Bipolar 101 is a straightforward guide to understanding bipolar disorder. It includes all the information you need to control your...

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.