To develop this plan, the only materials you need are a three-ring binder, a set of five tabs or dividers, and lined three-hole paper. Before you begin working with the tabbed sections, you will create a resource list to keep in the beginning of your binder. This section is called the Wellness Toolbox. In it you identify and list the things you use to help yourself feel better when you are having a hard time. Some of them are things you know you must do, like eating healthy meals and drinking plenty of water; others are things you could choose to do to help yourself feel better. You can also list things you would like to try using to keep yourself well or to help yourself feel better. You will refer to this list for ideas when you are developing the tabbed sections of your plan.
Some ideas for your Wellness Toolbox might be:
- eating three healthy meals a day
- drinking plenty of water
- getting to bed by 10:00 p.m. (or at a good regular time for you)
- doing something you enjoy–like playing a musical instrument, watching a favorite TV show, knitting, or reading a good book
- doing a relaxation exercise
- writing in your journal
- talking to a friend on the telephone
- taking medications
- taking vitamins and other food supplements
You can get more ideas for your Wellness Toolbox by noticing the good things you do as you go through your day, by asking your friends and family members for suggestions, and by looking into self-help resource books.
Write down everything, from really easily accessible things, like taking deep breaths, to things you only do once in a while, like getting a massage. This is a resource list for you to refer back to when you are developing your plans. Your Wellness Toolbox works best for you if you have enough entries so you feel you have an abundance of choices. Just how many entries you have is up to you. If you feel positive and hopeful when you look at the list, then you have enough. You can continue to refine your Wellness Toolbox over time, adding to your list whenever you get an idea of something you'd like to try, and crossing things off your list if you find they no longer work for you.
Once you've gotten your Wellness Toolbox underway, insert it into your notebook. Then, insert your five tabbed dividers, with several sheets of paper after each tab and a supply of paper at the end of the notebook.
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