One of the most important things I can do to manage bipolar disorder is to have a routine.  By establishing a routine, I am better able to keep my moods from swinging so wildly and I am able to function knowing what will happen each day and when.

For example, I wake up every morning at 7 am.  Since I don’t have to be at work until 8:30, it gives me time to take a shower if I wish, get dressed, eat breakfast, fix my hair, and leave the house.  I work from 8:30 to 5:00, getting home around 5:30.  Either Hubby or I fix dinner, eat by 6, and I relax and enjoy a quiet evening until around 10:30.  That’s when I have a little snack, take my Latuda, and get ready for bed, finally falling asleep between 11 and 11:30.  On the weekends, I usually sleep in until 8 or 8:30, then get up and clean the house after I have gotten dressed and had breakfast.

For me, having a routine helps me deal with the chaos that is my day job.  I manage an office of 12 people, and about the only thing set in stone is that I have meetings on Monday with the boss to get my tasks for the week and to go over any other items that need her or my attention.  I get a large amount of steps in going all over the office either making ornery office equipment to work correctly, show a co-worker how to do something, or answer the phone while heading back to my office/heading out to a co-worker’s office.  I literally do not know what will happen from one moment to the next, and while I can sort of manage that chaos, I take comfort in knowing it is just a small part of my daily routine and allows me to remain calm.

Decompressing in the evening is a must for me.  If I’m not writing blog entries for this site, then I am either reading a book or I am coloring using one of those neat coloring apps available for my tablet.  Sometimes I make things for breakfast for the week, sometimes I make things for lunch for the week, and sometimes I just like to sit and listen to music.  I do watch a few shows on television: NCIS, Supernatural, and the Dynasty remake.  Usually the television is on in the background, just loud enough to be background noise while I go and do what I need to get done.

How about you?  Does a routine work best for you?  How do you manage your mood swings?  I’d love to know!

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