You must be wondering about all these - and more - post-therapy, but don’t worry! We are here to help you navigate this confusion.
First things first, therapy is not a quick fix to your problems. Simply showing up for the sessions will not change anything. A lot of healing and progress occurs outside of therapy. And that is exactly why we have compiled this list for you.
Here are 7 ways you can support your mental health journey in between therapy sessions:
Much like therapy, journaling gives you the space to process your ideas, emotions, and experiences. Writing things down is useful when you can't discuss them with your therapist out loud. Journaling regularly lets you be entirely honest with yourself, understand your thoughts and feelings, and identify behavioural patterns that no longer benefit you.
Apply the strategies discussed in therapy
Do you have a new coping mechanism you can use? Do you think you could mend your relationship with a friend based on something you discussed with your therapist? Or do you think you could perhaps alter your daily routine in a way that increases your productivity?
All of these might be the various strategies and techniques you have discussed with your therapist, and now is the perfect time to apply them to real-life situations and see how effective they are. And if something does not work, this will help you provide your therapist feedback so they can tweak the strategy to benefit you.
Create an emotional toolbox
Create an emotional toolbox for when you are stressed and need something to help you cope. In it, you can store affirmations, phrases, or quotes you find calming.
You can also add objects that comfort or distract you, such as plushies, blankets, jigsaw puzzles, crafts, your favourite book, a snack, and other things that help you ground yourself. Your box can also include instructions for breathing exercises, mindfulness techniques, and contact information of people you can call in times of distress.
Pull out your box the next time you're upset; we promise it will help you get through!
Make a list for the next session
We can get engrossed in our daily activities, making it difficult to keep track of things. You could recall something you wanted to discuss right after your therapy session is over or doubt how you are feeling a few days later.
Instead of letting that idea pass you by, write it down. Include any questions, experiences, worries, difficulties, and other issues you might want to discuss. You can maintain a running list on your phone to note these down. This way, you will have a list of topics to discuss with your therapist the next time.
Talk to someone from your support system
If you find it comfortable, talk to a trustworthy friend or member of your family about what you're working on in therapy. In case you want a safe space to vent online, you can join our discord community!
Openly talking about mental health helps reduce the stigma associated with mental illness, creating a safe space for the people in your life. And who knows, hearing about how you are dealing with your mental health can even encourage others to seek professional help!
You don't have to work on yourself continuously. For the most part, we're all doing the best we can. So, do not guilt yourself for scheduling downtime for relaxation and recovery. Therapy can be emotionally demanding, so try and get adequate rest; it is crucial for your physical and mental well-being. Taking a break from work when you are feeling overwhelmed can also help.
There are many ways to indulge in self-care - spend time with the people you care about, take a bubble bath with aromatic candles, go on a daily stroll, or pick up a hobby you want to get into for the longest time!
Reflect on the progress you have made
Change is slow. And that can sometimes discourage us from working on ourselves. But, consider these: Have you handled an incident better than you had anticipated? Did you finally have the difficult conversation you were dreading? Have you tried setting boundaries?
While it can be challenging to prioritise your well-being week after week, it is crucial to notice the positive changes (no matter how small they are) and give yourself credit for that! This will keep you going and remind you that even 1% progress is better than stagnation.
Even going to therapy is an accomplishment in and of itself. It means a lot to persevere! Always remember to be proud of the progress you've made since beginning therapy.
Are you struggling with your mental health? Do you feel like you need some help? Rocket Health has you covered! Book a session with the best psychologists from our team and find a healthy way to deal with your mental health struggles.