The first step in developing your own Wellness Recovery Action Plan, is to develop a Wellness Toolbox. This is a listing of things you have done in the past, or could do, to help yourself stay well, and things you could do to help yourself feel better when you are not doing well. You will use these “tools” to develop your own WRAP.
If you are using a binder, insert several sheets of paper in the front of your binder. List on these sheets the tools, strategies and skills you need to use on a daily basis to keep yourself well, along with those you use frequently or occasionally to help yourself feel better and to relieve troubling symptoms. Include things that you have done in the past, things that you have heard of and thought you might like to try, and things that have been recommended to you by health care providers and other supporters.
You can get ideas on other tools from self-help books including those in my books like WRAP Plus , The Depression Workbook: A Guide to Living With Depression and Manic Depression, The Worry Control Workbook, Healing the Trauma of Abuse, The Loneliness Workbook. You can get other ideas from listening to WRAP Step-by-Step and Wellness Tools available on CD and audio download. You can also go to the section on this website to see what others have shared.
Listen to a sample of Building Your Wellness Toolbox with Mary Ellen Copeland…
In your Wellness Toolbox, list the tools that help you feel better
and stay well
Here are some Wellness Tools you shared with us:
My Wellness Tools are as follows:
Definitely Diet and Exercise. I eat healthily and walk most days, whether this is getting from A to B or going on a walk for an hour at the weekend, all walking is good. It’s all exercise.
I listen to relaxing music when I find the radio too much and when I want to relax and unwind.
I listen to positive affirmations: Louise Hay 101 Power Thoughts is one of my favorites. These can be bought on CD.
I do meditation every evening and drink herbal tea.
I take time to go to a Coffee meetup each week. This gives me a social outlet where I can meet people and also gives me a chance to practice and improve my social skills in a relaxed setting. It also is an excuse to dress up and put on some make up, which is all good.
I make time to watch a movie at the weekend or read a book.
I do homemade beauty treatments and try to be kind to myself and be compassionate towards my self. Anonymous
Audio clip, Mary Ellen on Dealing with Negativity: (from Building Your WRAP Wellness Toolbox)
One of the Wellness Tools I use is what I call a Feelings Pyramid
I have been using them for the past 5 years since the loss of my youngest daughter and found them to be a way of releasing these intense and overwhelming emotions. I use them because when I am in this place I am living a very black and white view of the world, the feelings pyramid allows me to bring colors back into my world even when the colors are very hard and painful to acknowledge. KC
Click here to read more and to learn how to make a Feelings Pyramid
Yoga classes once a week – Love & Sex – Gluten-free eating – Supplements & vitamins – Gemstones on my body – Walking – Outdoor sports – Massage – Reflexology – Shiatsu – Breathwork – Weeding my garden – Volunteering – Close contact with friends – Crafting – crocheting – Swimming – Kayaking – Creating vision boards – Peer Support Groups – Feng Shui – Learning New Things – Staying Away from Toxic People – Reading – No TV in My House – Hot Tubs, Steaming & Swimming – NAMI Support Group for Family Members – X-Country Skiing – Hot chocolate with Cayenne – Chicken Enchiladas with Beans & Rice on Friday
“I just wanted to share with you some of my wellness tips. It’s just a little something but it really helps me. It especially takes my mind of stuff that I dwell on. So, what I do is I get a plan piece of paper. I put every letter on the page A – Z. And then I just come up with words for every letter. It could be any word at all. I find that it really comes my mind down a bit. And it’s fun to see what words you come up with. And do it more than once.” Kelly A
“Every evening before bed, I write a message to my daughters with a dry erase marker on their bathroom mirror telling them something that I love about them, or an expression of my pride for something special they accomplished that day. In the morning when they are getting ready for school, whether I am there or not, they have a message of love to them from my heart. They usually respond to the note with something silly, or with “We Love You Mom!” These messages have brightened many a day and are a great addition to my Wellness Toolbox. Sometimes just taking the time to show our pride , love, and gratitude for others may make a positive difference in their life and ours!” April Moulds Elliot
“I have an idea of a Wellness Tool that was thought up by my sister. Make a list of everybody you care about and those who care about you. That’s something that may lift your spirits when you’re feeling down and depressed. It shows who your supporters are.” Neale Gilson
“Have a day of breaks! Even if you have a really busy day ahead, taking breaks will be important to keep your energy levels up. Plan some really fun breaks, like a special cup of tea, a phone call to a friend, 15 minutes of reading time, a quick walk, or a fabulous fruit snack. It makes even a long and busy day fun, because you sort of h
Don’t Forget These Tips from Our Kids!
Play with my Dog and Cat. Play Dress Up. Keep Stones in my Pocket. Build with Legos®. Be Upside Down. Make Believe I’m a Horse. Draw Hills with Sunsets. Chew Gum. Kick a Ball. Go Down the Stairs on my Stomach. Snuggle with my Parents. Ride my Bike. Make a Fort. Tell Silly Jokes. Make my Cat Dance. Climb a Tree. Read a Book. Run!
Youth WRAP –
This WRAP presents a system that helps young people make their lives more the way they want them to be, to choose and enjoy more of the things they want to do, and to get through the hard times that can come with finishing school, finding work, and moving into new situations for home, school and family.
A WRAP Workbook for Kids –
Designed for children ages 7–12. However, with assistance, younger children can use it. This delightful book will guide a child through the process of developing their own Wellness Recovery Action Plan. It will help them discover all the things they can do to feel good, stay well, and even feel better when the going is hard. It starts with listing all those good and fun things that they can use to develop their action plans, like running with the dog, coloring, and talking to a friend.
Audio clip, Mary Ellen on Hanging on to Hope: (from Building Your WRAP Wellness Toolbox)
Mary Ellen’s New Year’s Wellness Toolbox:
I have developed a personal tradition that I look forward to and enjoy. On the last day of the year, I spend some time with my friendly journal, writing down all of my accomplishments of the year. I include big things like losing 10 pounds and sticking to my exercise regime. But I also include little things like remembering to tell my spouse how much I appreciate him, and eating a healthy breakfast almost every day. I write down wellness tools that I have used, people I have thanked, people I have grown closer to, people whose company I have enjoyed and people who have amazed me with their compassion and dedication. I include a list of things I am thankful for, a list of things I enjoy looking at, and a list of things I love to do. I also take a few minutes to think about the losses I have endured in the past year–this year the loss of a friend who has been part of my life for many years, the the realization that I will never again be as young as I used to be or have quite as much energy. Be Well, Mary Ellen
Click here for Mary Ellen’s article on Developing Your Wellness Toolbox
Email us your Wellness Tips at firstname.lastname@example.org or go to Facebook and share your wellness Tools.
Mary Ellen Copeland, PhD, developed Wellness Recovery Action Plan (WRAP) with a group of people with lived experience who were attending a mental health recovery workshop in 1997. She is the original author of the WRAP Red Book, as well as dozens of other WRAP books and materials. She has dedicated the last 30 years of her life to learning from people who have mental health issues; discovering the simple, safe, non-invasive ways they get well, stay well, and move forward in their lives; and then sharing what she has learned with others through keynote addresses, trainings, and the development of books, curriculums, and other resources. Now that she is retired, and that, as she intended, others are continuing to share what she has learned, she continues to learn from those who have mental health issues and those who support them. She is a frequent contributor to this site.