By Carol Bailey Floyd, Retired Advanced Level WRAP Facilitator and Former Director of Programs, Mental Health Recovery and WRAP

Having a WRAP that is really active is a wonderful demonstration of fun as an empowering and constructive force. There’s room for enjoyment all the way through WRAP—from wellness tools right through the post-crisis section. Doing entertaining, cheerful, and fun things helps you to be more open to the possibilities of life and to feel more hopeful about your future.

I used to feel I didn’t deserve to have fun. I was embarrassed because I thought I wasn’t as accomplished as other people.

Also, when I felt really low, I didn’t have the energy to seek out fun activities. I also felt like I wasn’t a very good friend, because I didn’t feel cheerful very often. This made me feel awkward doing things with people.

As the years went by, and my life improved, I found that the more fun I had, the more energy I had. And my relationships improved Happily, friendships blossomed as I became more outgoing and enjoyable to be around.

I developed my first WRAP in 2002, and I found ways to make fun activities and creativity a regular part of my life for a good cause: my own balance and well-being!

Your daily plan is an excellent place to list things you can do that are fun and playful, regularly and/or occasionally. This helps you get into the habit of making energizing fun an important part of your life.

Now if I experience a trigger/stressor or an early warning sign, I may not be very happy at first, but then I realize it’s my responsibility to myself to do one or more of my action plans. I realize I have to make time for a movie, a trip to the library, a cup of tea with a friend, or a walk (among my many choices). Then the stressor or early warning sign seems to lose its power.

When I used to facilitate WRAP, I loved explaining there’s fun all the way through WRAP. When we got to the crisis section, I was always happy to point out the part that indicates, “Provide materials to draw or paint.” Fun and creativity are comforting and healing.

One time, at a WRAP seminar in Ohio, participants got so excited about wellness tools that they filled an easel pad, sheet after sheet. They came up with 132 different ideas!

Often, people resist having doing things they enjoy because their chores or to-do lists aren’t done or they are feeling low. In reality, we always have chores to do, so we need to make sure we have lots of fun, too. Fun lifts our spirits.

If I’m feeling low, I know that using my wellness tools and action plans can improve my outlook and overall well-being.

One day, I was really overwhelmed with things I had to do. I made a list of everything and interspersed short wellness tools throughout—a cup of tea, a walk around the block, a short friendly phone call, writing a thank you note. To my surprise, I got more done than I thought I could ever achieve. I was in a happy, energized mood all day long. Never underestimate the power of fun!

You deserve a great life! Having a WRAP helps ensure you can have that happen. WRAP is friendly, common sense, accessible, and empowering, and it can be as fun and creative as you want it to be.

I have enjoyed collecting wellness tools so much that I created a blog for it: Celebrate Possibilities. It’s a challenge to identify 1,000 fun things to do, but so far I have more than 850! Here are just a few:

  • Check out a thrift store
  • Go to a museum and wander
  • Attend a music recital
  • Make a gratitude list
  • Research an interesting topic at the library
  • Attend a free lecture
  • Say “yes” to something new
  • Write a poem
  • Take a walk in the rain
  • Sing a song

What are some of your favorite fun wellness tools? Let us know on the WRAP Facebook page or send us an email at info@wellnessrecoveryactionplan.com.