Your life is not an easy one if you are a bipolar supporter to a loved one with the disorder.  However, if you don't help yourself, you can't help your loved one, either.

 

There are certain things you can do to help yourself, though, that I talk about on my website devoted to bipolar disorder, but I'll just list some of them here: 

 

     ·         Get the right amount of sleep

Too many supporters spend their whole day taking care of their loved one and their other responsibilities that they finally fall into bed exhausted at the end of the day.  Then they either toss and turn, or have to wake up early for the whole cycle to begin again.  It's no wonder you're so tired all the time!  You need to get the right amount of sleep.  This means 8-9 uninterrupted hours of sleep per night.  You should go to sleep at the same time (a decent hour, too) and wake up at the same time every day.

 

·         Stay physically healthy

Another reason you might be feeling drained is that you aren't taking good physical care of yourself.  You need to exercise and eat a healthy diet.  Exercise doesn't have to mean going to a gym or taking three hours every day to do.  It can be as simple as a simple walk just three times a week – just so you're doing something.  A healthy diet is very important as well.  It will help you feel better, and you'll find that you have more energy as an added bonus!

 

·         Have other interests

Living in your loved one's "bipolar world" can be exhausting!  Sometimes you can get so lost in it that you forget that you can have other interests.  Explore these possibilities.  Learn new things, take up a hobby, meet new people, go to lunch or a movie with a friend, spend more time with your extended family, volunteer for a worthy cause, go to a museum, etc.

 

·         Take a bipolar break

Find someone else to stay with your loved one while you take a few days off.  If you have grown children, go visit one of them.  If you have parents that you can visit, go do that.  If you have a friend who will put you up for a few days, you can go see them.  You can even take a mini-vacation and go to the beach!  Just take a "bipolar break."  You won't believe how rested and relaxed you'll be when you come back.