Wednesday 23 January 2019

My Wellness Recovery Action Plan (WRAP)

A couple of months ago I attended a Wellness Recovery Action Plan (WRAP) Awareness workshop at Newcastle Recovery College Collective (ReCoCo). The two day workshop covered the purpose and structure of Wellness Recovery Action Plans, and invited us to consider drawing up our own.

In this article I’m sharing the WRAP I put together after attending the workshop, with a few changes I’ve made since then and minor edits for privacy. I make no claim that this is “how to do a WRAP” but it works for me. I will update it as my needs and situation change, and as my understanding of WRAP grows.

Wellness Recovery Action Plan

Martin Baker, January 2019


My Wellness Tools

These things help keep me well.

  • Calls and chat with Fran and other trusted friends
  • Diary / journaling
  • Taking regular me-time
  • Coffee shops
  • Walking
  • Blogging
  • Listening to music
  • Meditation
  • Planning / calendar (help with staying organised)


What I’m Like When I Am Well

When I feel like this I am doing well.

  • Feel generally positive about life
  • Creative
  • Keen to take up challenges
  • Energised, even on relatively little sleep
  • Feel good about myself and my body

When I behave like this I am well.

  • Have good self-care (eg dental hygiene / shaving)
  • Pay attention to how I am dressed
  • Communicative / chatty (but not pushy)
  • Organised / productive / able to multi-task
  • Generous with my help, time, and gifts (but not overbearing)
  • Supportive of others
  • Active on social media


Daily Maintenance (Daily Routine)

These things support my wellness.


  • Wake 7 am
  • Check-ins online with friends
  • First coffee of the day at Costa
  • Walk into work from Metro station (20 mins)

Working day

  • Drink water / vitamin C
  • Journal at lunch time
  • Second coffee of the day
  • Walk to Metro station (20 mins)


  • Prepare dinner
  • Grocery shopping at Tesco (Wednesday and Friday)
  • Occasionally, go for a walk
  • Call with Fran 7 pm
  • Call with Fran 11 pm
  • Bed 1 am


  • Me-time (eg town or coast)
  • Call with Fran 6 pm
  • Call with Fran 11 pm
  • Bed 1 am


  • Lie in until 9:30 am
  • Cook Sunday lunch
  • Coffee at Costa
  • Grocery shopping at Tesco
  • Call with Fran 6 pm
  • Call with Fran 11 pm
  • Bed 1 am



These things can turn an OK day bad really quickly.

  • Changes in relationships (which I perceive as lessening / loss / abandonment)
  • Uncertainty / lack of clarity in communications
  • Getting overwhelmed by competing demands for my time / attention

Triggered response.

  • Anxiety / panicky
  • Sense of loss / abandonment
  • Get pushy and/or clingy


Early Warning Signs

When I feel like this I am starting to get unwell.

  • Lack of appetite
  • I have difficulty focusing
  • I have difficulty sleeping
  • I feel stressed / tense (tension in my face, headaches)
  • I feel anxious (tension in my gut)
  • I feel overwhelmed / unable to balance things as usual
  • Physically tired

When I behave like this I am starting to get unwell.

  • Lack of self-care (forget to brush my teeth / don’t shave as often)
  • Less attention to my appearance (“why bother?”)
  • Eat supper, leading to weight increasing
  • Over-attentive / clingy / pushy (trying to get the clarity I am after)
  • Withdrawing from people / social media
  • Starting to exhibit risky behaviour / relationships


Coping Strategies

These things help me come back to wellness.

  • Talking about things with Fran and other trusted friends (but not over processing)
  • Pulling back to assess what is happening
  • Temporary withdraw from social media
  • Make a list of allowed / not allowed behaviours (eg Friendship Guidelines)
  • Check my WRAP especially maintenance plan and wellness tools
  • Focus on writing / blogging / reading
  • Being reminded how my actions are impacting others


Crisis Point

When I feel like this I am at crisis point.

  • Running / rehearsing conversations and scenarios in my head
  • Catastrophizing (feel like everything is lost / gone to shit)
  • Feeling hard done by
  • Feeling I will never get what I want in life
  • Feeling hopeless
  • Feeling extreme panic / imminent loss
  • Obsessive focus / unable to step back

When I behave like this I am at crisis point.

  • Overanalysing everything (in my journal, in conversations with Fran etc)
  • Holding pity parties
  • Refusing or unable to accept responsibility for my actions
  • Isolating (eg withdrawing from social media)
  • Undereating (response to stress / anxiety)
  • Overeating (response to feeling despondent)
  • Risky behaviour / relationships
  • Impulsive


Crisis Plan

My Supporters and Their Roles.

  • Fran and other trusted friends, with roles and contact details

These things will help me.

  • Talking things over with someone I trust
  • Being heard
  • Being reassured that the person I am talking to will not leave me
  • Honesty
  • Reminders to self-care
  • Perspective from people I trust

These things will not help me.

  • Being judged
  • Being shamed
  • Not being heard
  • Being told how my actions are impacting others (this would help earlier but not at crisis point)


Post Crisis

This is how I can get back to safety.

  • Take it slowly / steadily (don’t rush back to things too quickly)
  • Re-establish my wellness tools and structures
  • Acceptance of what has happened without judgment
  • Acceptance that recovery is a process
  • Take responsibility again
  • Reward myself (do something nice for myself)


If you would like to know more about Wellness Recovery Action Plans check out my earlier article or visit the official Mental Health Recovery website.



  1. This was very interesting. Reading this post has put a few things into my mind that feel like they will sit there somewhere and help me without me really knowing it, thanks!

    I did a WRAP in 2009 and it felt like - "Okay, I have a bit of a plan now for the next time the heavy anxiety comes" which made me feel better about my anxiety stuff. I was bad in 2009 and though I didn't think about it at the time my WRAP made me, on an unconscious level, chill a bit about my stuff, and I was lucky, it actually set some foundations for a continued and effective recovery pattern. It's like an F1 driver being able to drive better knowing that safety has already been planned out and taken into consideration- I think...

    Great post,thanks Marty


    1. Thank you for sharing your own experience with WRAP. Someone once described it to me, saying having a wrap was like having a best friend there with you when you needed them. There is a perception perhaps that wrap is only for people living with mental health issues, but I think it is for all of us. It is a tool or a strategy for helping with "life stuff" - whether that is related to mental health or not. ~Marty

    2. Yes, quite right WRAP is not just for those with mental health problems. I never thought of that, maybe I'll do another for my life as it is now!