Hello trailblazer (if you are wondering what a trailblazer is, check out the trailblazers’ manifesto here).
Today we are talking about making your Wellness Toolkit – a healing refuge, a portable, in-your-pocket emotional first aid kit. Your bespoke sanctuary.
Sound good? Let’s get started!
This Wellness Toolkit is a way of strengthening your natural resilience. Each time you use it you are exercising your resilience muscles.
In assembling your toolkit I want to begin by making a big list of everything you do/have done. Then we take out non-optimum behaviours and replace them with optimum ones. There are no good or bad actions here, nothing we ‘can’t’ do.
[Trigger warning: Mention of self harm]
You could add smoking or self harm to your list of coping mechanisms if that’s what you currently use – I’m not advocating them, but I am saying they are ways people use to cope.
[Trigger warning over]
Maybe they aren’t the ways that would make them feel at their best though, and so we can work on substituting them for coping mechanisms that make you feel good as well as encourage you to keep going.
Write a list of tools you feel drawn to or want to explore. Cultivate awareness of what works and add to your tool kit as you go onwards.
We’ll work on filling this toolkit from here but you don’t need a huge range of tools, just ones that work. As you use them your relationship with them can deepen.
Here are some ideas you can explore further:
– Cultivating positive attitudes to long term illness
– Taking things one moment at a time
– Exploring relaxation exercises that work for you, like ASMR
– Holding an appreciation celebration
– Get a Healing Box
– Build your own Happy Box
Let’s dispel some myths of talking therapy:
Getting support from counsellors, therapists, coaches, psychologists, psychiatrists or psychotherapists can be helpful. It doesn’t mean you can’t manage alone, but that you’re taking as good a care of your mental and physical health as possible. You take your car to a mechanic don’t you?
You may connect with some counsellors and not others. If you don’t find much support with your first counsellor, that doesn’t necessarily mean counselling doesn’t work for you.
Try and get a personal recommendation and conduct interviews – is this person right for you? Ask about their experience working with issues like yours, their training, their practice.
Set up a trial period and review at the end.
If things are difficult – if you find the sessions un-boundaried and they leak into the week, if you would like things to work on between sessions but don’t have any homework – ask.
Therapy is a collaborative process.
Want something to add to your Wellness Toolkit right now?
I’ve recorded a seated mindful movement audio and a anxiety management mindfulness meditation MP3 for you. Sign up to my list below to make sure you get your free copy as soon as they’re released!
What’s comforting for you when you are struggling? What do you keep in your Trailblazing Toolkit? Let me know in the comments, or on Twitter.