Taking Care of Yourself
When taking care of a loved one who is bipolar, it is easy to get lost in their drama and neglect your own needs. In order to properly care for them, you have to learn to take care of yourself, both emotionally and physically, so as not to risk a burnout.
1) Remember to focus on your own life. Supporting a bipolar relative often involves making some life adjustments, but make sure that you do not lose sight of your own priorities and goals. Continue to nurture your friendships with others, make plans and participate in activities that make you happy
2) Do not try to be a superman or superwoman, make sure you get the emotional support you need to cope. Taking care of someone with bipolar disorder can be an isolating and emotionally painful task. If you need to, talk to someone you can trust, confide in that person about what you are going through. However, if you are not ready to tell the “world" there are other options such as getting your own therapy or joining a support group
3) Set your boundaries, set your limits. Assess your own capabilities and be realistic about the type of care you are willing and capable of providing without feeling overwhelmed and resentful. If you let bipolar dominate and take over your life, it is unhealthy for both you and your relative.
4) Manage your stress. Eating right, getting enough sleep, meditation, visualization techniques can all help you keep stress under control.
There is hope:
The road may be long and difficult but don’t give up hope. Treatments do work and people with bipolar disorder can lead functional, productive and happy lives.