5. THERAPY. WHAT’S THAT ALL ABOUT?
Ironically, talking is the thing that we all really need – to explore our feelings and share them with someone who can understand. Yet, talking is often the hardest thing to do. For some, therapy sounds like a really scary idea.
First of all, let’s nail the basics. You don’t need to be in the middle of a mental-health crisis to see a therapist. If you want to try out being more mindful, meditation can be used as a form of therapy too. If you feel like you’d like to reach out and explore further, then you’re already the perfect candidate for therapy. Think of therapy as your lucky charm; the techniques and mechanisms you can learn are valuable for life, regardless of how you’re feeling right now.
Let’s be real. Visiting a therapist for the first time is not gonna feel totally, 100% natural. It’s a strange situation to be in - you shouldn’t feel judged, but it will probs feel strange at first. After all, it’s going to take a while to settle into the situation. However, if you don’t feel like you’re in an emotionally safe space during your first session, don’t go back. Try another therapist. If you felt a little awkward and weird, but not judged or preached to, go back for another session and see how it goes.
A good relationship with your therapist is all about both of your personalities meshing well, just like any other relationship you have in life. That only happens by trying, and maybe mingling a little along the way to find your true match. Don’t feel like you’re stuck to one therapist – even if it feels like that, depending on if your therapy is free-funded by the country you’re in – you can still request a change at any time. Just keep it at the top of your mind that you will feel a lot of different emotions during therapy, and it’s your therapists’ job to support you in that journey.
6. MOVE YOUR BODY
Research shows that exercise is an amazing way to combat stress, and improve overall mental health. Let’s not call this working-out. This is about moving, getting a little sweaty and releasing those post-exercise endorphins. Do this in any way you’d like – go for a long walk in the fresh air, ride your bike, dance or hula hoop. Do whatever works for you; just let all of that energy/stress/confusion inside you OUT somehow.
When you’re feeling particularly down, exercise can seem like the last thing you want to do – and sometimes, just getting out of bed and making that first step can be difficult. Here’s a trick, make it as easy as possible for yourself: go to bed in your running clothes, take out the trash and look! You’re already outside in the light, so maybe take one walk around the block. It’s all about being kind to yourself and realistic. One small step for you can be one huge step for your mind.
WANT MORE HELP?
Check out MHE’s directory to find resources in your country.