WRAP, a plan to keep me on track
Lots of people want to make changes to how they manage their lives or relationships. But they may be unsure about how to make these changes happen. I went to a program that helps you plan to keep well and motivated. You can write a list of things you like and need to do, and how often to do them. You can also write a list of things to do when you are not feeling good. I wrote my own plan to help me get motivated every day. Learning how to stick with this plan is my goal.
Posted by: Katrina Breen, on 03/08/12
I can practise bike riding.
Motivation is a major issue in my life. I have missed out on doing important things, and things I enjoy. I believe having a wellness plan will work for me.
I have been looking to work in mental health and came across the Wellness Recovery Action Plan (WRAP). I went to a condensed WRAP introductory program that was held over one day.
WRAP was developed in the US by Mary Copeland and a large group of people who experienced similar challenges. Copeland had experienced mental health distress and came up with a plan of action for keeping herself well after physical health reasons meant she was no longer able to take her medication.
What is WRAP?
WRAP is ideally run over a minimum of six sessions, of two-and-a-half hours for each session. Sessions involve lectures, discussions, and individual and group exercises.
Participants design a plan of what they need to do, and what they enjoy doing, to manage their lives. It is a peer support program that is not just for people who experience mental health distress. The program is used by anyone wanting to improve their lives or relationships in any way, including couples and families.
The program costs vary in Victoria, with some places offering it for free. After the sessions are finished, participants often choose to continue to meet informally as a group.
Attending the program also qualifies participants to attend further training to become WRAP facilitators if they wish, which is certainly my intention.
My own WRAP
For every person, a WRAP serves a different purpose. You can design it however you want to, with complete freedom. Here are the three parts of the WRAP structure I picked that suit me.
The toolbox is a list of things to do, or to avoid doing, to make yourself feel good. My toolbox list has around 50 items.
I included steps towards goals I am working on. For example, steps towards new work opportunities, and practising bike riding skills that will be useful for group rides. My toolbox includes getting necessary tasks out of the way such as housework and paid work tasks. And then of course there is a list of things I enjoy doing such as meeting friends, going for a walk in the park and reading a novel.
The maintenance plan is the list of things you need to do to stay happy, healthy and meet your responsibilities, divided into time periods of daily, weekly, monthly and periodically.
I took it a step further and included things to do twice daily, three times daily and even hourly. This gives me something to work towards, even if I don't always achieve these heights.
The action plan is a written plan of what to do to keep yourself on track when you feel
down. I have given this the heading
What is good for me to do? Rescue plan. In it are ideas that include pleasurable, grounding and inspiring activities, and also useful tasks that I'll feel good to have started.
How will I use my WRAP?
I have printed out my WRAP and have been frequently looking at it as a reminder. My current goal is to see how often I am doing the daily and weekly activities, and to gradually make more of the activities in my lists more frequent in my life.
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