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The Basics Part 1

Just to review from previous weeks we’ve already talked about how why mental health plans are necessary as a preventative form of mental health care, and we’ve talked about the types of information you need to know about yourself when beginning to create your own mental health plan.

To review click on the links below

Mental Health Plan Week 1

Mental Health Plan Week 2

This week, we are beginning to address the basics of mental health planning. By basics we mean the basic things that each individual needs to consider for their mental health planning.

The basics include but are not limited to:
  1. Care for self
    1. Emotional
    2. Physical
  2. Care for surroundings
  3. Time for enjoyment
  4. Adequate sleep
  5. Adequate nutrition
  6. Stress Reduction
  7. Crisis Preparation
  8. Support Awareness

Today we’re going to focus on defining each of these basics, so that you can begin to evaluate how each of these things fit into your life currently.

  1. Care for self: How can I take care of myself in my life today?
    1. Emotional
    2. Physical
  2. Care for surroundings: What do I need to do each day to take care of my surroundings (my personal space at home, work, etc.) This often includes cleaning and maintenance  of a workable area.
  3. Time for enjoyment – these are things that you like to do that are HEALTHY. Make a list of at least ten things you enjoy doing. The goal is to make time for at least one of these things per day.
  4. Adequate sleep – Recognition that sleep is an important part of a healthy lifestyle is the first step. The next step would be figuring out how much sleep YOU individually need. To do this, begin keeping a record of how much sleep you get, and how you feel the next day. The hope is that overtime you will notice a pattern between how you feel and the number of hours of sleeping hours you had the night before.
  5. Adequate nutrition – Adequate nutrition is hard for a lot of people. Often times it is stressful. Simplifying your nutrition so that you don’t have to think as much is the way to go. Ask yourself these questions: Do I eat three meals a day? Are they hitting all the major food groups? It’s incredible how connected your mind and body truly are, so if you’re body is not getting what it needs, your mind too will be struggling to get by.
  6. Stress Reduction – Stress reduction involves wo things: 1) Identifying what causes you stress 2) Developing healthy coping mechanisms for dealing with that stress. This week, make a list of you major stressors in life.
  7. Crisis Preparation – What’s the saying: “The best defense is a good offense?” Well the same goes with mental health planning. Ask yourself these questions:
    1. What would I do if I were in a mental health crisis?
    2. Who would I call?
    3. Where would I go?
    4. What skills would I use?
  8. Support Awareness – A large part of staying healthy mentally and emotionally is knowing that we are not alone. Support Awareness is about keeping in mind those people who you can turn to in a time of need, or for distraction in a time of stress. Those people could be: family members, friends, mental health professionals, doctors, mentors, teachers, coaches, neighbors, or anyone else that you feel comfortable being honest with.

Another great tool to use for  understanding and evaluating the basics of mental health planning in your own life is the MEDDSS DBT Skill. Check out how to apply the MEDDSS skill to your life today in this post: MEDDSS.

Remember: Building your mental health plan takes time. For this week, we suggest keeping a separate sheet of paper in a notebook for each of the eight topics (Care for self, Care for surroundings, Time for enjoyment, Adequate Sleep, Adequate nutrition, Stress reduction, Crisis Preparation, and Support Awareness. On each page begin first evaluate how they are in your life currently. Then begin to brainstorm ideas for each of the topics to be added into you days and weeks, and ultimately your mental health plan.

That’s MHP for this week.

My name is Erin, and This is where I Stand.