Last week, I introduced the idea of creating a Wellness Recovery Action Plan (W.R.A.P.) as a tool for monitoring your own mental health and keeping yourself as well as you can. I discussed what a W.R.A.P. is and went on to share the first step as the creation of a list of wellness tools i.e. things that you enjoy doing and that make you feel good. If you haven’t seen this initial post click here to read it before you learn what to do now. Today, I’m going on to the next step which focuses on what you are like when you are well and on listing daily maintenance tasks that you really need to do to keep yourself well.
Having drawn up your wellness tools, you’re invited to consider what you are like when you are feeling well. When I did this, I got really upset as it was a reminder of how I am when my mental health is good and I felt like I’d not seen the real Laura for such a long time. Now I’m back to feeling great, I can look at my list and celebrate who I am.
In as much detail as possible, you should make a list of how you feel when you are well. Here’s a few examples from my list so you can get the idea:
full of positivity
good sense of humour
The idea behind doing this is so that you can spend some time really thinking about the kind of person you are when you’re feeling well and then you will be easily able to spot signs that you are starting to struggle and put steps in place to prevent decline in your mental health.
Having written your list, you should then go on to think about the things you need to do each day to keep yourself feeling well. What you note down here should be every day things that you must do to maintain a state of wellness. This is known as your ‘Daily Maintenance’ plan. Here are some of the things on my list but obviously yours may have different tasks and activities on depending on how you spend your time.
get up by 8am
have cereal, dried fruit and coffee for breakfast (or an alternative as a treat!)
take a vitamin tablet
check my plan for the day in my bullet journal
brush my teeth
dry my hair and get dressed
Do yoga, some stretches or go for a walk
Do my morning activities
Have a healthy lunch
Do my afternoon activities
Make dinner and eat with my husband
Do a relaxing activity from my wellness toolbox list
Do chores e.g. dishwasher etc.
Make a plan for tomorrow in my BuJo
Take my medication
Go to bed by 11pm and enjoy at least 7 hours sleep
Obviously my plan changes depending on whether I’m attending classes or going out for the day, but it does give you a basic structure to your time and would be really helpful to refer to in order to keep yourself on track and productive. It’s also good to look at when you aren’t feeling so good as you can add small tasks to your notebook or bullet journal and celebrate the little successes in your day e.g. keeping yourself hydrated or doing a short household chore.
We were given a handout from the Recovery College in which to write down our lists but when I started to feel better, I made my own all bright and colourful pages using a MS Word document and then printed them out and put them in a folder. If you’re feeling particularly arty or love drawing, you could even create a pictorial list.
I hope you’ve found today’s post useful and that it has given you some insight into the usefulness of creating a W.R.A.P. If you have any questions, I would be happy to answer them in the comments.
Until next time, stay home and stay well,