The 5 Pillars of Recovery to Mental Wellness - National Alliance on Mental Illness of New York City , Inc.

The 5 Pillars of Recovery to Mental Wellness

Let’s face it. Recovery from one or more mental health conditions isn’t easy.

My name is Jared Bendifallah and I’ve  been in recovery from a serious mental health diagnosis since the summer of 2015.

I have developed these 5 Pillars of Recovery to Mental Wellness by observing what has worked for me along my recovery journey and what has worked for others through my involvement as a peer support group facilitator, peer support specialist, and speaker for NAMI Westside Los Angeles.

The 5 Pillars of Recovery are:

  1. Basic stability
  2. Having a self-care plan
  3. Trusting the process of recovery
  4. Finding your community
  5. Expanded self-awareness and intuition

The first pillar is basic stability. This includes having clinical support, such as a psychiatrist and a therapist, and non-clinical support such as friends and family. It also includes having structure in your life to keep you grounded. Examples of structure could be volunteering, going to school, or working.

The second pillar is having a self-care plan, which includes cultivating your mental and emotional well-being and having self-care tools that you can use when in distress. It also includes having one non-negotiable self-care tool that you can use every single day. This should be something that acts as an anchor for you and provides you with a strong foundation for self-care. For some people this could be exercising 4-5 times a week. For others, it could be journaling or some form of creativity.

The third pillar is trusting the process of recovery. Recovery is a process with bad days and setbacks, but it is important to never give up and to keep moving forward. Take one small step at a time and over the course of many months and even years you will be blown away by how much progress you have made.

The fourth pillar is finding your community. This could be anything from a bird watching club to a book club or a support group. You know you’ve found your community when you feel like you belong and you feel seen, heard, and supported.

The fifth pillar is expanded self-awareness and intuition. Becoming more self-aware includes learning about your strengths and talents as well as your struggles and challenges. Self-awareness can lead to greater insight into who you are as a person and is a powerful tool for personal growth. 

The fifth pillar also includes following your intuition. Some may call this “intuition” while some may call it a “gut reaction” but it is the part of you, a form of higher intelligence, that knows something without any logical explanation. When you take what I like to call “enlightened action” based on your intuition, you can move your life forward in a way that brings you closer to your deepest dreams and your soul’s purpose, and gives life and recovery greater meaning.

Implementing these 5 Pillars of Recovery can lead to profound growth and healing over time. Keep pushing forward and never, ever give up hope.

Jared Bendifallah

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