A Holiday Wellness Plan
There are seasons of weather, holiday seasons, or simply put seasons of life. We have them but what do they feel like?
Think with your whole body for a moment what does a season feel like? Maybe it feels like the warmth of cozy socks or a brisk breeze on your cheek. Or does it feel like sunshine and sand on your body, maybe even smells like sunscreen?
Seasons are often associated with how the weather affects our bodies but how does our mind experience seasons? What emotions are felt?
Within my practice, most clients share emotions of sadness, loneliness, or anger. There may be stress within the family, negative memories from the past, or financial challenges. These emotions may lead some people to feel anxious, depressed, or withdrawn.
Experiencing emotions during any month or type of weather is a season; Emotional Seasons may come and go or stay for a while.
During the holiday months, seasons can be especially difficult. With support from a therapist or family and friends, there are ways to combat the many seasons of emotions.
A wellness plan can be an effective tool to support your emotional health and improve relationships with family and friends. To initially create a wellness plan you may need the support of a licensed counselor. The plan will identify signals that indicate a need for support, coping strategies, supportive individuals, and your environment.
The Wellness Plan
(create a section on your paper for each underlined category)
Signs that I may need support (Category 1)
To begin working on a wellness plan start with writing 2-4 emotions/words that describe how you may feel (tired, irritable, sad) that would indicate a need for support. Support includes how you treat yourself.
Coping strategies (Category 2)
Next, identify ways to rest your mind. Coping strategies are different for everyone they can include: reading, music, drawing, limiting commitments, or utilizing a calendar, for example. Define at least 2 coping strategies you are most comfortable with engaging in when you feel like the emotions in category 1.
People, Things, Animals that offer me support (Category 3)
In this section identify specific people and a way to contact them (email, text phone call), Things (iPhone, tablet, radio), and Animals (pets that are accessible and provide comfort). List 2-3 in this category.
Environment (Category 4)
In this final section list at least 2 ways to make your environment calm. This may include a scented candle, new bedding, or low lighting for example.
Together these four categories make a wellness plan. Identifying the emotions and developing a plan may decrease depressive and or anxiety symptoms and allow for a healthier you.
If you or someone you know would like support in developing or using a wellness plan, I provide clinical therapy to individuals and families. Seasons change, and we can too.
Breanne Roberts, LMSW is the owner of Captive Beliefs Counseling Service PLLC in Grand Rapids, MI. Breanne provides clinical interventions and empowers individuals to feel in control of their emotions, behaviors, and lifestyles. She specializes in mood management, improved social relationships, and interpersonal psychotherapy; with over 10 years of experience assessing emotional regulation, family systems, and crisis management. Her professional career started in rural communities of Honduras with children and families who experienced emotional hardship. She founded Captive Beliefs Counseling Services to support individuals of all cultures and ages to live purposely and peacefully.