Mental Health ToolkitValor Counseling
Many people come to therapy to help manage stress. One goal I will try and work with them on is developing a personalized mental health toolkit. A mental health toolkit is a list of personalized coping skills that they can use in a time of need. When someone is working on figuring out their mental health tool kit I will recommend the following.
Write it down
Find a place to write down what’s in your toolkit. Writing it down may seem unnecessary because you can remember what your coping skills are. This is true however in our time of need we often forget all the things that can help us feel better. Having a place to turn to in these moments can be extremely helpful.
What are healthy things you like doing?
Write down your obvious coping skills. These will include things that bring you enjoyment. They can be small or big things. Make sure they are healthy behaviors that are not self destructive.
What are things you once enjoyed but have got away from?
Oftentimes we forget how much we liked that old hobby. Write down those things that you once did when you were younger or just got away from that brought you joy.
What are things you would like to try?
Write down things you have not tried but you believe you will enjoy. Do research here. Search the internet for ideas for new coping skills. Push yourself to go outside of your comfort zone.
- Behaviors that are expressive have a bigger positive impact on mental health (think painting, playing an instrument, ect.)
- Behaviors that give you a sense of giving back to someone or something can be very powerful
- Make sure to include many behaviors that you can do when you are stuck at home
- Seek help if you are having difficulty with coming up with your mental health toolkit or just want help implementing your new tools.