Today I want to talk about Ways to Help Your Loved One Stay On Track:
1. Don’t Let Them Get Lazy
It’s hard for your loved one when they, perhaps, have lost their job and are now on disability. Some people lose their sense of direction when they have nothing to wake up
for any more when they have no job to go to. Don’t let your loved one get lazy just because they aren’t working any more. Encourage them to make a To-Do List, or something else that forces them to be productive in some way every day – just something that gets them out of bed with a day’s goal in mind.
2. Make Sure They Stick to Their Treatment Plan
Sometimes loved ones may stick to their treatment plans in the beginning, when they know you’re watching them, but then they slack off when they think you’re not looking. Don’t let that happen to your loved one. Make sure they stick to their treatment plan. This is so important. Especially when it comes to their medication. No, they’re not a child, and you can’t make them take their medication by forcing it down their throat. But you can encourage them and reinforce the importance of taking it. Be the same way with the rest of their treatment plan – going to their appointments with their psychiatrist, doctor, and therapist. Eat a good diet, exercise, and sleep right, etc.
3. Use a Buddy System
Try to keep them on track by finding a “BP Buddy” for them – maybe someone from their bipolar support group. Someone who knows what they’re going through, and is perhaps sharing the same struggles. Maybe they can do some things together, maybe
some things to keep them from getting bored – maybe they share the same interests, or at
least could go out to eat or to the movies, etc.
4. Encourage Them to be Independent
Don’t act like your loved one’s babysitter. Encourage them to be independent, and not to be dependent on you. You want to be supportive, and you want them to feel your support and to know that you’re there for them, but at the same time, you don’t want them to feel as if you’re smothering them. If you have grown children, remember back to when your children were teenagers and were trying to show that they were “grown up.” Your loved one is going through the same thing. Stay close enough that if they want your help, you can help them, but give them enough room that they can do what they can for themselves.
5. Be Their Cheerleader
When your loved one does make advances in their growth, say, in therapy, be their personal cheerleader! Make sure they know that you are on their side, not only NOT
nagging them, but being positive and encouraging, and cheering them on to do
good so that they don’t get depressed. Even small advances can be good ones.
Being a good supporter isn’t an easy job. But it is so important to your loved one that you encourage them every step of the way.
6. Make Time For Yourself
You need to take care of yourself as well as your loved one. You don’t want to get burnt
out, do you? If you get sick or stressed out, who would take care of your loved one? So
it is important to take care of yourself first. You need to make sure you are balanced
physically, emotionally, mentally, financially, and spiritually. You also need to have balance in your work and home life. And between taking care of your loved one and taking care of yourself. It’s important for you to keep your stress levels down and to relax when you need to, and to do things that are enjoyable for you. You should practice hobbies that you enjoy as well. These make you feel productive and help your self-esteem.
7. Keep a Journal or Mood Chart
Record your feelings in a journal, diary, on the computer, or on a mood chart. This will keep you from “stuffing” them, and will help you to express them in a healthy way. This is important, as it will help you to stay emotionally healthy by letting your emotions out. If this doesn’t work for you, you might want to get your own therapist.
These have just been some ways to help your loved one stick to their system, but also some suggestions that might help you as well.
Well, I have to go!