1. Everyone can benefit from owning a handy toolkit of strategies and skills for health and wellness. The
more tools we stock in our toolkit, the more we have to draw from to support life’s challenges and
boost enjoyment. One tool such as calling a friend to talk, might be just the helpful ticket on one par-
ticular day. On another day, a different tool like making a gratitude list might be the most helpful to
ease our mind, heart and spirit. As we were growing up, most of us (if not all of us) were not given a
well-being toolkit. Also, it’s possible no one modeled for us how to create a healthier life-mentally,
emotional, socially, physically or spiritually. The older I got and the more I learned, the more I wished I could go back in
time and give to my little child self all those great strategies and wisdom. My, oh my, how my life would have changed!
A toolkit would have definitely reduced my suffering and empowered my journey. Realistically, I can’t change the past
and so I am not going to dwell on “what could have been”. However, in the now, I search out and give those toolkit tips
to myself and allow my adult self to transform my life with that wise knowledge.
Here’s just a few of the many tools to add to your personal toolkit.
Do deep belly breathing: bring inhale down into the belly and allow the calming effect of the breath to relax.
Focus on facts, not assumptions.
Take personal responsibility for improving your life, eliminate a victim stance.
Create choices, because the more choices, the more empowered you will feel. So look for choices you have not considered.
Surrender to the circumstances you cannot change; surrender the outcome of what you can change.
Use the spirituality of prayer, meditation, mindfulness, yoga, and/or contemplation to enhance other strategies.
Develop a plan for healing, health and wellness & commit to change. Take baby steps if needed but commit to transform your life.
Be solution oriented rather than problem oriented—shift the focus, shift the circumstance.
List intentions or purposeful directions for what you want to create in your life. Visualize and feel those positive intentions.
Choose optimistic thoughts which encourage thinking the best about a situation, and sustain hope or faith for a good and
Pick and Choose your thoughts because a thought will cause a particular feeling which will cause a particular behavior. You
feel the way you feel because you think the way you think.
Recognize that you have gifts, talents, skills and inner resources within that you may not be aware of. And, if you become
aware and utilize them, it could change your experience.
Likewise, recognize that you may have options for support outside of yourself that you may not be aware of. So, search the com-
munity, the internet, ask people for resources, etc.
Push through fear to develop courage and bravery. You will be surprised at what you can do, learn, become.
Again, focus on the breath-- when you are at a stop light, in line at the grocery, cooking food, lying in bed ready for sleep,
anytime, anywhere. Wherever you go, you bring the potential of the healing, relaxing breath.
Terry has a Master of Arts Degree in Counseling from University of Colorado-Denver. She has 30 years experience working with
adults, children and family preservation. She has worked in settings such as: non-profits, schools, justice system, alcohol/drug pro-
grams. Her role as counselor, consultant and trainer maintains a focus on spirituality, health and wellness. Terry currently facilitates
groups and supports individualized mentoring at the Wellness and Recovery Center North .
Sacramento County Mental Health Public Awareness Campaign seeking to fundamentally alter nega-
tive attitudes and perceptions about mental illness with culturally competent messaging and activi-
ties, persuading County residents to feel the same compassion for and acceptance of a person with a
mental illness as a person with a physical illness or disability. The campaign is part of the County’s
Mental Health Services Act (MHSA) initiative which provides funding to help transform county mental
health services for children, transition age youth, adults, older adults and families.