Handling the Holiday Challenge: The Bipolar Question of the Week

John McManamy Health Guide
  • Holidays, holidays, holidays ...


    Several days ago, I bought a poinsettia plant and plonked it on a table in my living room.  I even remembered to water it. That is my concession to the holidays. My pattern this time of year is to settle into a kind of comforting and protective isolation. Actually, this is pretty much my default state. With the holidays, I simply burrow deeper down into it.


    I’m sure that being more actively engaged would be good for me, but frankly by the time the last month of the year rolls around I am spent. I had a very busy year completely re-doing my mcmanweb site, writing the equivalent of about two books of new content. Plus I kept a blog going, plus my work as an expert patient here at HealthCentral, plus the hours I put in serving on the board of NAMI San Diego. I was on the road twice and I helped organize and participate in a number of local mental health events.

    Add This Infographic to Your Website or Blog With This Code:


    Then there are the zillion and one personal things, such as replacing my old car, organizing five years worth of paperwork, and committing myself to staying where I’m at for another 12 months. I even think I did my laundry. Thank heaven I wasn’t in any loving relationship this year - there was simply no room for it.


    December is my time to step back, take a few breaths, and take stock. I go into a reflective, introspective mode as I contemplate how to apportion my limited energy over the next 12 months. When I phrase this in terms of preparing my yearly business plan, people nod their heads in understanding.


    This period of recuperation and introspection is actually a very pleasant time of year for me. So much so, that the holidays come and go with hardly any notice. Perhaps my protective isolation is an unhealthy escape, but I’m looking at it as a very healthy adaptation. Trust me, I am in no hurry to revisit my ghosts of Christmas’ past.


    Ah, I see a question in this: How are you handling the holidays this year? Are you having any success turning a very stressful time of year into a positive experience? Or are you having a hard time of it?


    Comments below ...

Published On: December 17, 2011