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.
I usually start by calling off of work for the day to do some processing.
I may try and get more sleep if that is part of what is overwhelming me. When I wake I then will:
Use a blank piece of white scrapbook paper
I turn on my instrumental or nature sounds music
In the center I draw a large pyramid
I then try to identify the feelings I am experiencing that are most intense. The most intense is at the bottom and by the time I work my way up the pyramid I usually find that I am dealing with 5-6 emotions at the same time.
I then get out my bold markers and start coloring in the pyramid and allowing myself to really ‘feel’ that emotion and by the time I fill the space I can then release that emotion. I continue to work my way through each of the emotions allowing myself to feel and release each one.
After I have filled the pyramid, in the white space around the pyramid I draw Wellness Tools that I can use to start to heal. I use mostly simple drawings made with fine markers or sometimes pictures from old magazines or photos and fill my page with Wellness Tools. As I begin to take control of my life again by drawing choices I can take it is not uncommon for me to use a green or blue marker to interconnect the different Wellness Tools so that I can begin to feel their interconnection
I will usually spend about one-one and a half to two hours allowing myself to honor and release these very intense feelings.
Wellness Tools I choose at these times vary: Whether it is having a cup of herbal tea as I write a letter to my daughter I lost (I have two boxes full of them), writing a poem or story, calling a supporter, calling the pastor who runs our grief group, leaving the house to have comfort food or soup, or just going for a walk through the Five Senses Garden with my husband I end up feeling more connected afterwards and less anxiety about the next steps towards reclaiming my wellness.
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.