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.
The following list includes the tools that are commonly used to stay well and help relieve symptoms.
- Talk to a friend-many people find this to be really helpful
- Talk to a health care professional
- Peer counseling or exchange listening
- Focusing exercises
- Relaxation and stress reduction exercises
- Guided imagery
- Journaling–writing in a notebook
- Creative affirming activities like painting, singing, dancing, cooking
- Diet considerations
- Light through your eyes
- Extra rest
- Take time off from home or work responsibilities
- Hot packs or cold packs
- Take medications, vitamins, minerals, herbal supplements
- Attend a support group
- See your counselor
- Do something “normal” like washing your hair, shaving or going to work
- Get a medication check
- Get a second opinion
- Call a warm or hot line
- Surround yourself with people who are positive, affirming and loving
- Wear something that makes you feel good
- Look through old pictures, scrapbooks and photo albums
- Make a list of your accomplishments
- Spend ten minutes writing down everything good you can think of about yourself
- Do something that makes you laugh
- Do something special for someone else
- Get some little things done
- Repeat positive affirmations
- Focus on and appreciate what is happening right now
- Take a warm bath
- Listen to music, make music or sing
Audio clip, Mary Ellen on Peer Counseling: (from Building Your WRAP Wellness Toolbox)
Your list of tools could also include things you want to avoid like:
- alcohol, sugar and caffeine
- going to bars
- getting overtired
- certain people
Refer to these lists as you develop your Wellness Recovery Action Plan™. Keep it in the front of your binder so you can use it whenever you feel you need to revise all or parts of your plan.
Click here for even more Wellness Tools ideas!
Keep your Wellness Tools on hand with you always!
The WRAP App – The WRAP App guides you in creating and using your WRAP day to day. Use the WRAP App and take control, with your personalized action plans that help you feel better, get well, and stay well for life.
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.