9Muses Art Center
Published by CMHS (Center for Mental Health Services) and SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) Reprinted 2005
Excerpts from Recovering Your Mental Health booklet - Consumer Information Series, Volume 8
"Developing A Recovery and Wellness Lifestyle"
It is not always easy to take the action necessary to create change. However, without taking some action, you cannot make changes in your life that may be necessary to help you feel better. Every time you take a positive step in creating change in your life, give yourself a pat on the back or reward yourself by doing something nice for yourself like taking a warm bath, going for a walk, or spending some time with a friend. You also may want to keep a written record of the change you are creating in your life in a notebook or journal.
Change takes time and may be difficult. You may have to overcome many obstacles. Take small steps. Don't give up. Be persistent. Keep working toward whatever it is that will help you to feel better and enjoy your life more. Making change is being able to see beyond yourself to what the solution might be.
Your physician may suggest one or more medications to help you feel better. Using these medications should be your decision, but first, you need answers to some important questions. To get those answers, you might ask your doctor or pharmacist, check a book about medications at the library, or search a reliable information source on the Internet. Double check with your health care provider before making a final decision.
"Building Self Esteem"
You may be giving yourself negative messages about yourself. Many people do. These are messages that you learned when you were young. You learned from many different sources including other children, your teachers, family members, caregivers, even from the media, and from prejudice and stigma in our society.
Some examples of common negative messages that people repeat over and over to themselves include: "I am a jerk," "I am a loser," "I never do anything right," "No one would ever like me," "I am a klutz."
You may think these thoughts or give yourself these negative messages so often that you are hardly aware of them. Pay attention to them. Carry a small pad with you as you go about your daily routine for several days and jot down negative thoughts about yourself whenever you notice them.
Ask yourself the following questions about each negative thought you have noticed:
You could also ask someone else - someone who likes you and who you trust- if you should believe this thought about yourself. Often, just looking at a thought or situation in a new light helps.
To order complete copies of these self-help guides go to www.samhsa.gov