On the first tab write “Daily Maintenance Plan.” If you haven't already done so, insert it in the binder along with several sheets of paper.
On the first page, describe yourself when you are feeling all right. If you can't remember, or don't know how you feel when you are well, describe how you would like to feel. Make it easy. Make a list. Some descriptive words that others have used include: bright, talkative, outgoing, energetic, humorous, reasonable, argumentative. Now when you aren't feeling very well you can refer back to how you want to feel.
Dreams and Goals
Some people use their plans to make a list of their dreams and goals, too. If you think you would find it helpful, make a list of goals you could work toward. You can write down far-fetched goals or more easily achievable ones. It is really helpful to remember your goals and dreams so you always have something to look forward to. Then, you can identify steps to take to achieve them and incorporate these small steps into your daily maintenance plan.
On the next pages, describe those things you need to do every day to maintain your wellness. Use your Wellness Toolbox for ideas. Writing these things down and reminding yourself daily to do them is an important step toward wellness. When you start to feel “out of sorts,” you can often trace it back to “not doing” something on this list. Make sure you don't put so many things on this list that you couldn't possibly do them all. Remember, this is a list of things you must do, not things you would choose to do. Following is a sample daily maintenance list:
- eat three healthy meals and three healthy snacks that include whole grain foods, vegetables, and smaller portions of protein
- drink at least six 8-ounce glasses of water
- get exposure to outdoor light for at least 30 minutes
- take medications and vitamin supplements
- have 20 minutes of relaxation or meditation time or write in my journal for at least 15 minutes
- spend at least half an hour enjoying a fun, affirming, and/or creative activity
- check in with my partner for at least 10 minutes
- check in with myself: “how am I doing physically, emotionally, spiritually?”
- go to work if it's a workday
On the next page, make a reminder list for yourself of things you might need to do. Check the list each day to ensure that you do those things that you need to do sometimes to keep yourself well. You'll avoid a lot of the stress that comes from forgetting occasional but important tasks. Write “Do I Need To?” at the top of this page and then list things such as:
- set up an appointment with one of my health care professionals
- spend time with a good friend or be in touch with my family
- do peer counseling
- do some housework
- buy groceries
- do the laundry
- have some personal time
- plan something fun for the evening or weekend
- write some letters
- go to support group
That's the first section of the book. Cross out items if they stop working for you, and add new items as you think of them. You even can tear out whole pages and write some new ones. You will be surprised how much better you will feel after just taking these positive steps on your own behalf.
Sourced in November 2013 from:
Center for Mental Health Services
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services
5600 Fishers Lane, Room 15-99
Rockville, MD 20857