In addition to the regular ways that you show support for your loved one, you may have to "step up" your efforts during the stressful holiday season.  There are many practical ways to support your loved one.

 

The most practical things you can do are to make sure that your loved one keeps taking their medication and sticks to a good sleep schedule (getting 8-9 uninterrupted hours of sleep per night, going to bed at the same time and rising at the same time every day).

 

Following are some ways for you to offer practical support when your loved one is stressed, in a mini-episode, or even in a full-blown bipolar episode:

 

·         Picking up their prescriptions/medication

·         Driving them to appointments

·         Keeping a diary/journal of their behavior/moods

·         Accompanying them to their Support Group meeting

·         Going shopping for them (grocery and/or department store)

·         Going shopping with them

·         Going to doctor and therapist appointments with them

·         Keeping a stress-free home environment

·         Screening phone calls and possibly upsetting mail

·         Cooking their favorite meal

·         Running a bath for them

·         Taking them for a drive in the car

·         Renting a movie to watch together

·         Going for a walk with them

·         Helping them with the housework

·         Helping with the laundry

·         Taking over the finances/paying bills

 

One important practical thing you can do for your loved one is to watch their bipolar signs and symptoms closely so you can help them avoid an episode. 

 

Keeping them out of situations that might be triggers to an episode for them is another practical thing that you can do.

 

Making sure that you reassure them of your love and support often, both emotionally and physically, will help your loved one as well. 

 

If you do notice signs/symptoms of a bipolar episode, make sure that they go to see their doctor before it gets worse.