After posting a blog at 9:00pm and sleeping in till noon, I’ve decided to reenact scheduling therapy.
It’s a therapy I invented after reading a billion blogs and books about living with bipolar. Invented is a stretch, I more or less wrote down the different therapies and tips and built a massive schedule to incorporate all of them.
The goal is reconnect myself with boundaries, because it’s quite obvious I’ve lost touch. I’m like a little baby child that can’t take care of herself.
Here’s how it works.
7:00 Wake up, drink coffee, eat breakfast, absolutely no screen time.
8:00 Put on real clothes and brush my teeth. Make bed and clean the kitchen.
8:30 Screen time begins. I can either work on my blog or some of my online classes. I can take breaks when I would like, but absolutely no couch sitting or netflix watching.
11:00 Lunch and free-time.
12:00 Hands-on projects. Must include at least one pre-existing project.
4:00 Project must be put away and cleaned up.
4:30 Quiet time. Can include yoga, meditation, reading, or just sitting in the dark. No music or screens.
5:30 Dinner and free time.
7:00 Walk the dogs for at least 30 minutes.
9:00 All screens off, wash face, tidy up the house.
9:30 Overhead lights off, lamps only.
10:30 All lights off.
The premise of the schedule is to control the amount of stimulation I receive. It balances high and low, so I can enjoy my ups without going overboard. I used this in the past and it was incredibly helpful. Frustrated my friends, but they understood.
Important elements of Schedule Therapy:
1. Sleep. A consistent sleep schedule is like, the number one treatment for bipolar. Seriously, it’s a game-changer.
2. Screen time. Phones, computers, tvs’s, they are like crack coccaine for my brain. So I’m like a toddler that’s not allowed too much screen time. Which also helps with element number 1.
3. Light therapy. Controlling light before bed helps with sleep, and making sure I experience both day and night helps with mental stability.
3. Personal check-ins. Controlling inputs first thing in the morning is vital to starting my day off right. Also, I don’t hate having to cuddle my puppies for an hour. The afternooon check-in helps me unwind so I’m not a crazy distracted person when my husband gets home from work.
4. Eliminating decision fatigue. Not having to make decisions all day reduces stress significantly, which gives me the energy to tackle other problems.
5. Accomplishment. At the end of the day, I know that I did exactly what I intended to do. I followed the schedule. That’s all I have to do.
In the evenings I normally evaluate the schedule and makes changes accordingly. I realize this sounds a bit extreme, but I’m telling you, it really helps. I’ll use this for a week or two, until I feel ready to try to loosen it up a bit.
If you decide to adapt this for yourself and give it a try, I’d love to hear how you use it and how it works for you.