Bipolar Resolutions to Start the Year Strong

Working Towards Wellness With New Year’s Resolutions

Bipolar ResolutionsOn New Year’s Day we aspire to change our lives for the better, giving up bad habits and taking up better ones. As we clink our glasses at midnight we are filled with hope and motivation.

Last year I aimed to give up smoking and I convinced myself I could ditch the unhealthy habit I had tolerated for 15 years. I really believed I could undo the puffing overnight.

After battling an eating disorder for many years and feeling scared of the gym, I had also decided it would be good to find a local exercise class. I thought my focus would last.

I fell into the New Year’s trap last year and put my heart and soul into making changes. It backfired and I started smoking again in February, when I became depressed. This prevented me from searching for an exercise class because I had no motivation, and as a result I lost my focus — which turned into disappointment, failure, pain and anguish.

I got swept away with celebrations and listening to others and their plans. I forgot I had an unpredictable, and at times unstable, illness that without careful management and a realistic perspective, could come back to haunt me.

So What Have I Learned?

We need to reset our expectations to what we can easily cope with. Changing attitudes and behavior takes time and we need understanding and support without pressure.

“Little by little” is my motto, with lots of self-compassion. If we don’t manage to do something we need to remind ourselves that we are only human and we need to be kind to ourselves.


I have put together a list of ideas of how we can achieve a true sense of wellbeing. There is one rule: pick only one idea for your New Year’s resolution as we have a better chance of incorporating this as part of our daily lives. Once we move forwards with achieving a small, realistic goal, doors will open that enable us to achieve in other areas.


It’s all about establishing a routine. Don’t expect an overnight change, but as you persevere your body will accept it.

  • Set a time to go to bed.
  • Put down any electronic equipment two hours before sleep.
  • Run a hot bath half an hour before bed.
  • Make yourself a hot milky drink just before bed.
  • Make sure your bedroom is dark and cool.
  • Set your alarm for a reasonable hour aiming to get around eight hours of sleep.
  • As you relax, be patient and let all your worries float away.

Stay calm! This routine over time will bring huge benefits.

Next page: working on nutrition, exercise and relationships this year.

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