A wellness plan will help you get stress under control. It doesn’t matter whether you have been dealing with repeated acute stressors lately or if you have been facing long-term, chronic stress across the board for many years, a plan is always the first step. If you want to find out how stress is destroying your life and what to do about it, you have to start with a plan and in order to develop a plan, you need to have a clear understanding of the complicated nature of life, in general and your life, in particular. There are similarities between all of us, of course, and there are also features, which are very unique to each the person.
If you thought about a wellness plan objectively, you would realize that life is made up of many different categories and each one has the potential to be a cause of stress. I made a wellness plan list once and came up with 52 different categories that I call wellness categories and I am sure my list wasn’t complete.
Now it’s your turn! A great first step to developing a wellness plan is to make a list of all the little compartments in your life. It might help to think in terms of all the hats you wear in your life. For example, are you a parent, a spouse, or a sibling? Very likely, you are someone’s child and grandchild and even if your parent(s) or grandparent(s) aren’t living any longer, these relationships from the past can still be causing you stress. Are you a worker, a student or someone’s business partner? Maybe you are a volunteer or member of some group? Whatever you do, to have a really strong wellness plan, you need to get together a complete list of all the compartments or wellness categories in your life.
And don’t limit these categories to relationships. You also need to take into
account all the soft categories like attitudes, behaviors and beliefs. As, I
said, my list had 48 categories. Thoroughness is the key to a strong wellness plan.
The best plan for wellness is developed when people think outside the box. In other words, they choose to go beyond what is normally accepted by society. To truly achieve and maintain total wellness, you need something much more innovative, creative and empowering. You have to unleash the power of your amazing mind.
As you develop that list for your plan of wellness, begin to ask questions about what part of each category is causing you stress. Ask open-ended questions (cannot be answered by "yes" or "no") and ask a lot of "what if?" questions. Feel free to steal from my list below.
Now take each challenging issue and write a couple of ideas about what you would like to see happen to improve on the problem.
As you expand your wellness plan document, add a list of resources that could help you to solve the issue and then finally set a plan as to what resources you will use and by when the work needs to be done.
Eventually, you will see a wellness plan develop and once you have a plan, you can start working on solving all the problems and getting much better at managing all your stress.