Your wellbeing, all ‘WRAP®-ped Up!’
By Wendy Lee, Head of Health and Wellbeing, Options Wellbeing Team
Well… I am not talking about gifts and presents, even though it is the holiday season. I’m talking about being in control of your wellness, being able to advocate for yourself, and if struggling, being able to find your way back to a position of good emotional health and wellbeing.
What is WRAP?
WRAP stands for Wellness Recovery Action Plan. This plan can provide you with a whole range of possibilities for getting and keeping good emotional wellbeing. WRAP is able to help you identify:
- Your Wellness toolbox – the things like the support you have around you and your own internal resources. WRAP also helps you to identify new tools to help you live well and the way in which you want to live.
- What you are like when you’re usually well – reflecting on the things you do daily, weekly and monthly. This helps to provide a benchmark for your wellbeing and identifying when things are going well for you.
- Stressors and triggers (external things that can cause internal emotional stressors and then behaviours that may not be so positive) and how to plan for each one. This could include avoiding or managing it to lessen any anxieties or unwanted reactions. Examples or triggers could be a place, a tone of voice, a look, certain music or tracks etc.
- Early warning signs – the things that change the way you think, act and feel. Planning for these signs and signals can help you take action to prevent things from getting worse. Early warning signs may include: not sleeping well; being late a number of times; not eating healthily; not using your coping strategies to get on top of things or feeling less motivated. Some people’s early warning signs might be not opening the post for a while, forgetting medication or just losing track of time.
- If things are breaking down – identifying what happens in your life at this point. This could include things like: work or studies are being impacted by your wellbeing; children are missing school; bills not being paid and not being able to meet commitments and all of a sudden; things are spiralling out of control and you find it difficult to draw on the resources and support you usually have.
Self-advocacy and supporting yourself
However, planning for all these elements means that you can support and advocate for yourself on your own terms. Your WRAP is a ‘live’ document. When you identify any new stressor or triggers, you create a plan for new ones, or when you recognise another coping mechanism, you update your wellness toolbox
Other parts of WRAP include a crisis plan and a post-crisis plan. If you have experienced a crisis, then you will be better able to identify what you would like to have happen at a time when you may find it difficult to make arrangements to get back to living the life you want and choose or ask for help.
Sharing your thoughts
It’s up to you who you share your WRAP with, but it’s a great tool to save repeating your story to any loved ones, key people or practitioners who support you.
If you identify with any of these things or struggle with anything mentioned here, WRAP is a great all round tool to get to know yourself better and to take action before things do breakdown. WRAP is an evidence based method and has plenty of research around it to show really good outcomes for a number of people.
Is it for me?
WRAP is for anyone who has lived experience of:
- Mental or emotional health challenges
- Life challenges, changes or transitions
- Grief or loss
- The criminal justice system
- Lifestyle behaviour change like losing weight, quitting smoking, reducing alcohol or getting more physically active
Personally, I have used WRAP previously to help me understand my barriers to achieving a healthy lifestyle. It has provided me with a plan to get back on track and getting to a good place emotionally, where I can maintain it.
How we can help you
WRAP can be done in so many ways. For those of you who are creative, we can run workshops where you can develop your WRAP in a scrapbook style. We can also provide workbooks too.
Creating your WRAP is always best with the support of a facilitator who can guide you. Our Options Wellbeing Practitioners would be more than happy to help you individually or in a small group, if you’d prefer.
When we can help
Options Wellbeing have a number of WRAP courses planned for 2022! Contact me on the details below for dates of WRAP groups run by me next year.
It’s amazing what you find out about yourself and the emotional resilience you can start to build by taking care of you.