How to Create A Five-Point Rescue Plan
Our starting point in teaching resilience was writing ‘The Five-Point Rescue Plan’.
It is a strategic, problem solving framework designed to help you sort through any situation.
In our many years of clinical experience we have discovered two things:
Firstly, you must focus on what you can change rather than what limits you, and
Secondly, it is the implementation of a prescribed combination of strategies that work to help you solve problems.
It is important to remember, however, that making massive changes is neither sensible nor sustainable. Radical changes in habit are hard to maintain because they are unfamiliar to us. They may be relatively easy to apply at first, whilst the motivation to change is at its greatest, but if success is not achieved quickly we often revert back to our previous, more comfortable habits.
In short; the closer changes are to our current lifestyle and routine, the greater the chance of success.
Your ‘Five-Point Rescue Plan’ will enable you to concentrate on the things you can change, and modify your current situation to create a new and more desirable one, despite your limitations.
In order for your plan to be successful, it must contain as much of you and your individual situation as possible.
Your plan will allow you to develop your own bespoke coping strategies.
You will be able to take control of any problem with positivity and self-confidence.
Health and happiness will be in the palm of your hand.
The key to any ‘Five-Point Rescue Plan’ is to accurately identify the problem. All too often we concentrate on the symptoms we experience, trying to fix them, rather their true cause.
For example insomnia - this could be caused by anxiety, physical pain or noise and light pollution. The solution to these will of course be very different.
Use the questions below to help you pick through the thoughts feelings and behaviours involved in your situation.
What is my Perceived Problem
I am worried about coronavirus
I am in pain
I am overweight
What are my negative behaviours
Ruminating about things out of my control
Giving attention to my pain
What drives these behaviours
Fear, anger, apathy, boredom, guilt, ego
What are my limitations
The behaviour of others
What can I change
What I think, feel and do
What is my actual problem
Lack of purpose
Lack of self-esteem
Look at your answers.
Accept your limitations – you cannot change them.
Focus on the actual problem you have identified and concentrate on the things you can change.
Choose 5 small but significant changes you can make to your life and do them every day.
The insomnia mentioned earlier was caused by anxiety about coronavirus. Surrendering to the uncertainty surrounding this is important.
A plan to help here might look something like this:
1. Daily meditation to start the day with a calm, still mind
2. Be present – focussing on the tasks at hand, not ruminating about unknown future events. Bring yourself back to the present whenever needed.
3. Regular physical activity to disperse cortisol
4. Stay up to date with news about the virus but switch off technology at a set time to allow the brain to slow down
5. Lavender oil in a warm bath before bed or a drop on the pillow.
Give yourself a time frame. During this time, avoid ruminating about your problem; rather, concentrate on implementing these five actions.
After the given amount of time, review the situation and evaluate your plan.
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