The Wellness Toolbox is the cornerstone of WRAP. As the seasons change and the days shorten, taking time to review your list of Wellness Tools can help to boost your wellbeing.
Many people fear the onset of winter because, as the days shorten, they feel less and less like themselves. You may find that you have a difficult time keeping your life in balance. When you notice these feelings, reviewing your is a great way to help yourself to feel better and stay well.
Do you experience any of the following signs of insufficient light in the winter month as the days get shorter?
- Drop in Energy Level
- Difficulty Getting out of Bed in the Morning
- Impatient with Self and Others
- Craving Sweets and High Carbohydrate Foods
- Creativity Decreases
- Difficulty Concentrating and Focusing
- Difficulty Getting Motivated
- Decreased Productivity
“It’s the hardest thing for me, keeping my life in control and doing for myself the things that I know are best for me.”
– Mary Ellen Copeland
If the shorter days are affecting you, then adapting the tools in your to help offset the lack of light should help keep you feeling your best. Pay close attention to what works for you, so you can develop a lifestyle that enhances your wellness and contributes to the enjoyment of your life.
Following are some examples of light- or SAD-related Wellness Tools:
- Keep your living space well lit & uncovering the windows
- Try light therapy or using dawn simulators
- Increase your time spent outside during the daylight
- Get moving! Increase your daily exercise
- Maintain a regular schedule
Add new tools whenever you notice or discover them. Carry a small notebook with you. Every time you notice a Wellness Tool, jot it down. Use available WRAP materials such as Building Your Wellness Toolbox with Mary Ellen Copeland to help you create your . This audio program leads you through an intensive process of uncovering your personal Wellness Tools. It includes many Wellness Tools that you can put in your own toolbox if you think they would work for you.
Listen here for a sample:
Hopefully these Wellness Tools and more will help you Beat the Winter Blues. However, if you think that you may have Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), discuss it with your physician. While many people have successfully treated themselves, a healthcare provider with expertise in addressing Seasonal Affective Disorder can be a big help and a great supporter as you address this difficult issue. If your regular doctor does not know very much about SAD, ask him or her to refer you to a doctor who does.
Learn more about the effects of light and Wellness Tools
through these other WRAP resources
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.