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The first step in developing your own Wellness Recovery Action Plan is to develop a Wellness Toolbox - tools to help yourself stay well.The first step in developing your own Wellness Recovery Action Plan [WRAP] 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.

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 by Mary Ellen Copeland:

You can get other ideas from the audio- tapes

The following list includes the tools that are most commonly used to stay well and help relieve symptoms:

  1. Talk to a friend - many people find this to be really helpful
  2. Talk to a health care professional
  3. Peer counseling or exchange listening
  4. Focusing exercises
  5. Relaxation and stress reduction exercises
  6. Guided imagery
  7. Journaling - writing in a notebook
  8. Creative affirming activities
  9. Exercise
  10. Diet considerations
  11. Light through your eyes
  12. Extra rest
  13. Take time off from home or work responsibilities
  14. Hot packs or cold packs
  15. Take medications, vitamins, minerals, herbal supplements
  16. Attend a support group
  17. See your counselor
  18. Do something "normal" like washing your hair, shaving or going to work
  19. Get a medication check
  20. Get a second opinion
  21. Call a warm or hot line
  22. Surround yourself with people who are positive, affirming and loving
  23. Wear something that makes you feel good
  24. Look through old pictures, scrapbooks and photo albums
  25. Make a list of your accomplishments
  26. Spend ten minutes writing down everything good you can think of about yourself
  27. Do something that makes you laugh
  28. Do something special for someone else
  29. Get some little things done
  30. Repeat positive affirmations
  31. Focus on and appreciate what is happening right now
  32. Take a warm bath
  33. Listen to music, make music or sing

Your list of tools could also include things you want to avoid like:

  1. alcohol, sugar and caffeine
  2. going to bars
  3. getting overtired
  4. 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.

Note: I'm also using Advocacy as a wellness tool.

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