3 Vital Self-Care Tips For Spouses Of People With Bipolar

Last Updated: 28 Jun 2019

Having a spouse with bipolar disorder is incredibly rewarding––but can also be mentally and physically draining. Here’s what author Mark Lukach does to help himself:

#1 Let go of guilt

When his wife was first hospitalized, Mark recalls, he felt selfish for wanting to take time for himself. His train of thought ran like this: “I was healthy; I wasn’t in the hospital; I shouldn’t need to go surfing.” Eventually, he listened to his therapist’s repeated counter-message: “You do need to stop; you do need to make that space for yourself, so you can be at your best when you’re needed.”

#2 Avoid the stress cycle

Mark knows how self-care basics can go “right out the window” when life’s demands start piling up. The result: “I think I don’t have time to work out, so I’m not getting any relief, so I get [more] stressed out.” He now schedules workout appointments into his calendar and follows a strict no-calls, no-interruptions policy during those times.

#3 Getting to “good enough”:

While staying home with the couple’s second child, Mark found a gym with day care in order to fit in weekday workouts—although what he really enjoys is getting outdoors for a trail run, a bike ride, or some surf time. “I’ve come to recognize, this may not be a perfect solution, but it’s a great solution,” he says.

Read the full article:
The Partnership Pact: How One Couple Prioritizes Love Through Bipolar

Printed as “My Story: The Partnership Path,” Summer 2019

About the author
Elizabeth Forbes, a veteran reporter and editor, has been overseeing content for esperanza and bp Magazine since 2009.

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