Woman Adds ‘Watching 6 Hours of Reality TV’ and ‘Buying Boba Tea, as a Little Treat’ to Her Wellness Toolbox

The first step in developing a Wellness Recovery Action Plan is to fill your Wellness Toolbox with strategies that best support your mental health. That’s why local student Amber Gardiner filled hers with what truly lifts her mood: reality TV, boba tea and canceling plans.

“My therapist suggested adding things like ‘journaling’ and ‘getting eight hours of sleep,’” said Gardiner. “That sounds fine, but most days I’d rather get boba tea and watch clips of ‘My Cat from Hell’ on YouTube.”

While cultivating her toolbox, Gardiner discovered her needs aren’t always straightforward, as she listed “make plans with friends” followed by “cancel plans with friends.” Her toolbox also includes “call a warmline to talk through my feelings — or better yet, call my sister to debate which current ‘90 Day Fiancé’ couple is going to split up first.”

We asked Gardiner if she had suggestions for peers creating their own Wellness Toolboxes. “There’s no shame in whatever helps you get through,” Amber said. “By the way, I heard ‘The Great British Baking Show’ is coming back in August.”

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