September 5, 2018

W.R.A.P. Wellness Tools



Wellness Toolbox

 This is the beginning of a series of articles about the W.R.A.P. (Wellness Recovery Action Plan) self-management system. 

Each of us has their own definition of wellness. Utilizing wellness tools can support you in achieving wellness. The first part of writing a W.R.A.P. is to make a long list of wellness tools. I have over 200 items on my personal wellness tools list. Wellness tools are those things that you do, have or partake in that creates wellness in your life. They are things that you enjoy doing or the things that you do because there is a substantial payoff. Wellness tools feel good while I am doing them and I feel good the next day that I did them because they contribute to enabling wellness in my life. Coping strategies may help me get by in the moment but I might not be pleased with myself the next day that I resorted to that way of coping instead of choosing a tool that would create long term wellness in my life. All wellness tools are coping skills but not all coping skills are contributing to my wellness. Such as drinking a bottle of vodka might help one to numb out in the moment but the next day might not feel too well making.
The wellness tool list can include doing things like watching movies or TV, hobbies such as creating art, being in nature, daily hygiene, and listening to music. I like to plan my calendar so that I don’t have too much on my schedule to feel comfortable. I enjoy listening to funny podcasts as I walk my dog. I like to keep my house tidy so that I can find what I need easily.
The wellness tools list can also include things you utilize for your comfort or that you own. Some examples would be keeping my cell phone nearby, putting my car keys in the same place on the hook by the front door, using straws that encourage me to drink more water, keeping my reading glasses nearby and having a GPS in my car.
Some wellness tools can be diversionary activities that draw my attention away from uncomfortable feelings. For me, that might include washing some dishes, straightening up my art supplies and petting my dog.
Some wellness tools are for the sake of my wellness even though they may not be that enjoyable like taking my vitamins, getting yearly checkups, paying bills on time and keeping up on my car maintenance.
Some wellness tools that help me to get grounded again are taking some deep, belly breaths slowly, being mindful in this present moment, doing the Superman Pose or taking a moment to acknowledge some things that I appreciate.
Some of my fun wellness tools include going kayaking with my husband and dog on a smooth river listening to the sounds of nature, eating an ice cream cone, creating some inspiring art banners, catching up on a favorite TV show, getting a massage or talking with my kids on the phone.
Just as important to knowing what wellness tools help my wellness, it is equally important to realize those  people, places and things to avoid in order to increase wellness in my life. For me, these include avoiding: too much TV news, cigarette smoke, high pitch noises and dusty areas. I also stay away from certain negative people, certain TV shows and certain foods. I avoid overbooking my day and trying to do too many things at one time.
Knowing what wellness tools to utilize and what triggers to avoid helps me to be my best. I want to keep increasing wellness in my life so I do whatever it takes to feel my best. In keeping with the W.R.A.P. 5 Key Concepts for Wellness and Recovery, I keep Hope, I take Personal Responsibility for my health and actions, I Educate myself on what works for me, I Self-Advocate to get my needs met and I access the Support that I need to achieve wellness in my life which includes paid and unpaid supporters.

January 1, 2018

December 2, 2017

I Am Amazing Banner

I am amazing banner

I Stand With Puerto Rico

In support of Puerto Rico I am making art to bring awareness of their strengths. I encourage you to make any kind of art and post a photo to bring awareness too.It says "We are... strong, capable, brave, hopeful, resilient, hardworking, joyful Puerto Rico ". # I stand with Puerto Rico.

September 17, 2017

National Library Service

NLS is a free braille and talking book library service for people with temporary or permanent low vision, blindness, or a physical disability that prevents them from reading or holding the printed page. Through a national network of cooperating libraries, NLS offers books the way you want them: in braille or audio formats, mailed to your door for free, or instantly downloadable. NLS works to ensure that all may read by providing eligible patrons access to NLS materials regardless of age, economic circumstances, or technical expertise. Share the gift of reading, and spread the word about NLS so that all may read.

New Banners

May 21, 2017

Banners at Local Farmers Market

I recently sold my blank note cards and banners at a local farmers market.                Art for Insight.

May 15, 2017

Mixed Media Art Supplies

I thought that I would share of my favorite art supplies:
My punch that rounds corners is very useful for making my banners. It is white and orange and has several options of corner designs.
PPA Perfect Paper Adhesive is not mentioned much in the mixed media world but I love it for adhering papers and cleans up easily.
Water soluble NeoColor 11by Caran d'Ache are great oil pastels and can be used with water or  rubbed into the paper without water.
Bristol paper is what I use for banner making.
A tiny hole punch works great for banners.
I use Color Burst dry watercolor powders, Bombay inks, Tattered Angels inks and Dylusions ink sprays that are vibrant.
Zig alcohol inks, Spectrum noir and Adirondack alcohol inks are great to use on Yupo paper.
I love Zig glue in the blue tube with a sponge applicator.It comes in various thicknesses of applicators.
I use my bone folder a lot.
My favorite watercolors are Twinkling H2Os that have a shimmer to them and come in tiny round tubs in fabulous colors.
There are various pens and gel pens that I use including Micron pens. I also like watercolor pencils.
Tombow markers are super great as well as Pitt pens and markers. Copic makes a good alcohol black ink pen that I use.
I use my heat gun to hurry drying along.

May 14, 2017

Art for Insight

I will be presenting Art for Insight at the 2017 WRAP Around the World Conference in Sacramento, Ca June 5-7. I will be sharing lots of ideas on how to use art to self express and visualize your Wellness Recovery Action Plan.
Here are some of the examples we will be creating in this hands on learning endeavor,

February 25, 2017

Heart Art

Wear Comfortable Clothes

 Fyberworks Boutique in Portland, Oregon is a ladies' clothing boutique and commissioned these signs to hang in their shop.

Wellness Tools list

W.R.A.P. (Wellness Recovery Action Plan)

I have been facilitating W.R.A.P. (Wellness Recovery Action Plan) Workshops since 2005. I am currently facilitating at Kentucky's Western State Hospital to patients and staff. This is some of my art that I have used in workshops over the years. I notice that they are used in various places on 
the internet.

February 19, 2017

November 13, 2016

Gretchen Rubin

Gretchen Rubin is a great Wellness Tool resource on happiness. Gretchen has written several books on how to create more happiness in your life. She has a wonderful and uplifting podcast that I love to listen to on the way to work at the psychiatric hospital. I always feel great hearing what she has to say about taking action to create my happiness. She, along with her sister offers many Wellness Tools in each podcast.
She has a newsletter and a free online self test where you can see which of the four  tendencies you are.  Check out her website of goodies at:

 Her latest book, Better Than Before sounds fascinating. I read the sample on her website and was so very encouraged. I think that I could actually be friends with this person if we were on a parallel universe where we were neighbors. I am going to order it and let you know how it goes. Starting small to make changes can work for some people. The author SARK says that baby steps can be too large so she invented the Micromovements concept. I share this in my wellness classses and this simple and easy way of looking at taking action is always met with appreciation. For others, Gretchen says, making a huge Blast Start to get going can be beneficial and then going smaller from there. Either way, I love hearing from someone else that change can happen and we can be the ones to create our changes in our lives.

To quote Gretchen Rubin:
"If you need a quick overview of the Four Tendencies:
In a nutshell, it distinguishes how people tend to respond to expectations: outer expectations (a deadline, a “request” from a sweetheart) and inner expectations (write a novel in your free time, keep a New Year’s resolution).
Your response to expectations may sound slightly obscure, but it turns out to be very, very important.
  • Upholders respond readily to outer and inner expectations (I’m an Upholder, 100%)
  • Questioners question all expectations; they’ll meet an expectation if they think it makes sense–essentially, they make all expectations into inner expectations
  • Obligers meet outer expectations, but struggle to meet expectations they impose on themselves
  • Rebels resist all expectations, outer and inner alike"  

                                                        Click here to learn more about the four tendencies

November 3, 2016

5 Key Concepts

The Five Key Concepts for wellness and recovery.

Wonderful reminders.