Mental Health

Wellness Tools


I think it is pretty common for folks to feel a little down (or downright depressed) during the holidays. For many, their sense of loss is strong at this time.

Currently I am feeling well but I have personally experienced clinical depression in the past. My entrance into the world of mental illness officially happened in 2004. I spent six weeks hospitalized for a psychotic depression that year and was hospitalized again in 2008 which is when I learned that I had bipolar disorder. It seems like in the years that followed I have almost completely submerged myself in information about the disorder in an effort to understand myself.

Something helpful that I came across in that time is the Wellness Recovery Action Plan. Part of the plan is putting together a wellness tool kit. I have a notebook filled with “tools” that help me stay well. One tool is a list of things to do that will make me feel better if I am feeling down. I love making lists. Here are a few items from my list:

  • light a scented candle
  • take a bubble bath
  • take a walk
  • listen to happy music (I actually have made a playlist for this)
  • read a good book
  • blob for a day (this is another blog post waiting to happen)
  • eat healthy
  • journal
  • call a friend
  • text a friend
  • see a therapist
  • look at old photos
  • do something special for someone else
  • repeat positive affirmations
  • color
  • pet the dog
  • watch a favorite movie
  • find a good worry stone
  • enjoy a fabulous coffee beverage
  • eat ice cream
  • plan a date night with my husband
  • put on fresh bed linens
  • take vitamins
  • express gratitude
  • tweet an inspirational quote
  • go to support group
  • use light therapy
  • scrapbook
  • send someone a card
  • make a list
  • highlight a self help book
  • buy a magazine
  • buy flowers
  • play a video game
  • bake cookies
  • exercise
  • commune with nature

I think this is a great list and I find it helpful often. It’s good to have it written down because sometimes when I am feeling depressed it is hard for me to actually think of positive things to do. I hope you found this list helpful. I am always looking for new things to add to this list so please comment and let me know what you do when you want to cheer up.


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