Bipolar Disorder, Family Triggers, and Intense Anxiety During the Holiday Season

here’s how to conquer bipolar holiday stress.
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As we coast into another holiday season, many of us are coping with increased anxiety. It may be the first time since the pandemic that you’ll see family and friends or have to travel during the last months of the year.

For those of us living with bipolar disorder, it can be a time of intense stress. Family triggers can often set off bipolar episodes and cause us to feel pain and isolation. But don’t worry, there are ways to handle each trigger successfully.

In this post, we will discuss some common bipolar triggers during the holiday season and offer tips on how to manage them.

Holiday Season Triggers

Family

One trigger during the holiday season is spending time with family. For many people with bipolar disorder, family can be a trigger for intense emotions.

If you are feeling triggered by your family and bipolar holiday stress, try to find ways to cope with the situation. Maybe you can take a break from the conversation and go for a walk, or excuse yourself to use the restroom.

When you’re feeling really overwhelmed, it’s okay to leave the room or even the house for a little while. Just make sure you have a plan in place so that you can safely remove yourself from the situation.

It’s okay to set boundaries. Let your family know in advance what topics are off limits and then stick to your plan. If seeing some people is simply too hard for you right now, it may be best to avoid them.

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Holiday stress

Another trigger during this time of year is the stress of the holiday season. From buying gifts to attending parties, there is a lot to do and it can be overwhelming.

If you are feeling stressed, try to find ways to relax and take care of yourself. Maybe you can take a hot bath, read your favorite book, or take a nature walk. Whatever you do, make sure you are taking time for yourself and not getting too caught up in the holiday hustle and bustle.

Remember, life is rarely like what you see in movies. Your holidays don’t have to be full of expensive gifts or extended travel. Avoid heaping high expectations on yourself and try to enjoy every pleasant moment.

Routines

With travel and time off from work, your regular routines can fall by the wayside. The power of routines can go a long way at keeping bipolar holiday stress in check, so when the holidays throw your cycles offline, bipolar may rear its ugly head.

If you are feeling off balance, try to stick to your regular routines as much as possible. This may mean getting up and going to bed at the same time each day, eating regular meals, and taking your medication as prescribed. If you find yourself deviating from your routine, try to get back on track as soon as possible.

Cartoon of a family dinner. | Bipolar holiday stress is common during the last weeks of the year. This post will help you identify your triggers and conquer them. | #MentalHealth #MentalIllness #Bipolar
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Tips To Manage Anxiety During the Holiday Season

Don’t panic if you start feeling anxious during the holiday season. There are some things you can do to manage your anxiety.

First, it’s important to identify your triggers for bipolar holiday stress and try to avoid them if possible. If you know spending time with your family is a trigger for you, try to limit the time you spend with them. Maybe you can see them for only an hour or two instead of an entire day.

If you know the holiday season is a trigger for you, try to take some time for yourself and do things that make you happy. Maybe you can listen to calming music, take a nature walk, or watch your favorite movie.

It’s also important to practice self-care during this time of year. This means taking care of yourself physically, mentally, and emotionally. Maybe you can exercise, meditate, or journal to help reduce your stress levels. Whatever you do, make sure you are taking time for yourself and not getting too caught up in the holiday whirlwind.

Finally, it’s important to reach out for help if you need it. If you are feeling overwhelmed or like you are not coping well, reach out to a supportive friend, your doctor, or a mental health professional. They can offer support and resources to help you through this difficult time.

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Stay Calm

Living with bipolar disorder can be tough, and the holiday season can be especially hard to handle. But remember that you are not alone. Millions of us know the stress you’re facing with bipolar holiday stress, and we’re walking the walk right alongside you.

When you start to feel triggered or stressed, remember there are ways to cope and manage the situation. Control what you can and stick to your routines and treatment plan. Take it one day at a time and reach out for help when you need it.

The holidays can throw stress your way, but you can beat it. Stick to what works for you, and it will be January before you know it.

If you want more awesome content and weekly inspiration to help you live your best life, sign up for the free Sunday Speaking Bipolar Newsletter.

How do you cope with holiday stress? Please share your stories in the comments.

Until next time, keep fighting.

Cartoon of a family dinner. | Bipolar holiday stress is common during the last weeks of the year. This post will help you identify your triggers and conquer them. | #MentalHealth #MentalIllness #Bipolar
Please share on Pinterest. Graphic created with Canva.

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