National Mental Health Information Center
Article location: http://www.mentalhealth.samhsa.gov/publications/allpubs/SMA-3504/thingstodo.asp


 


Recovering Your Mental Health
A Self-Help Guide

Things To Do When You Are Feeling Better To Keep Yourself Well

When you are feeling better, make plans using the ideas in the previous section that will help you keep yourself well. Include simple lists:

bulletto remind yourself of things you need to do every day – like getting a half hour of exercise and eating three healthy meals;

 
bulletto remind yourself of those things that you may not need to do every day, but if you miss them they will cause stress in your life, like bathing, buying food, paying bills or cleaning your home;

 
bulletof events or situations that may make you feel worse if they come up, like a fight with a family member, health care provider, or social worker, getting a big bill, or loss of your job. Then list things to do (relax, talk to a friend, play your guitar) if these things happen so you won’t start feeling bad;

 
bulletof early warning signs that indicate you are starting to feel worse – like always feeling tired, sleeping too much, overeating, dropping things and losing things. Then list things to do (get more rest, take some time off, arrange an appointment with your health care provider, cut back on caffeine) to help yourself feel better;

 
bulletof signs that things are getting much worse, such as feeling very depressed, not being able to get out of bed in the morning or feeling negative about everything. Then list things to do that will help you feel better quickly (get someone to stay with you, spend extra time doing things you enjoy, contact your doctor);

 
bulletof information that can be used by others if you become unable to take care of yourself or keep yourself safe, such as signs that indicate you need their help, who you want to help you (give copies of this list to each of these people), the names of your doctor, or other mental health professional and pharmacist, all prescriptions and over-the-counter medications, things that others can do to help you feel better or keep you safe, and things you do not want others to do or that might make you feel worse.

In conclusion:
Don’t try to do everything or make all the changes suggested in this booklet all at once. You can incorporate them into your life gradually. As you do, you will notice that you will feel better and better.

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