Keeping up with your mental health is a lifelong process that can go through highs and lows. Even if you are working with a therapist, there may be times that you can not visit with them or something may come up between visits. There are ways that you can handle your mental health between therapy visits.
Your therapist should give you tips for your everyday life on how to manage your anxiety and depression but there are self care and breathing exercises that you can use when life may throw a curveball. Ogden Psychological Services wants you to feel in control of your health and know that things will get better. Here are some tips to help you take your mental health into your own hands and improve your thought process while away from therapy.
1- Exercise And Healthy Diet
You may have heard this a million times, but eating foods that fuel your body and exercise your muscles, this can help to improve your brain health too. If you have the capacity to take a walk, getting some fresh air can help clear your mind and allow you to think more clearly.
Eating the right foods can help to boost your mood and reduce inflammation. Eating foods that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon, dark green leafy vegetables, nuts, seeds and legumes are all excellent brain foods. Eating too little or too much can cause stress and may make your mental health even worse. Keep in mind that eating the recommended amount of meals per day, can keep your mood elevated.
2- Make Your Health A Priority
As adults with mental health concerns, we often seem to think that our health is not a priority or we are being selfish. Putting your kids, husband, friends or others health before your own can prove detrimental.
Putting yourself first may be hard, but there is no reason to struggle in silence when you have people in your life love you. When you put yourself first you will start to see yourself in a better light and can make steps to feeling less than. Taking charge of your mental health between therapy visits can make your next therapy session more productive.
3- Journal Your Thoughts
Putting your thoughts down on paper can help us to sort them in a healthy and nondestructive way. Journaling can be a way to let out your frustrations and process what you are truly feeling.
Journaling has been shown to help you remember things too. Writing down goals and advice from your therapist can help it stick in your brain for when you are overwhelmed. Writing down your feelings or what you have learned can help you to look back when you may dip in your mental health. Looking back on what you learned or the other hard things you have overcome could help give you a little push forward.
Your therapist can also help you talk about your feelings that you wrote down once you get back in a session. Writing down details about your mental health between therapy visits will help your therapist to have an inside view of how you were feeling at the time.
4- Confide In Your Support System
Have a family member or a friend hold you accountable or work with you on your mental health between therapy visits can make you feel less alone. While a trusted friend and family member can not give you clinical advice, they can be a shoulder to cry on or let out your feelings about something that is bothering you.
Therapy does not just have to happen in a therapist’s office. You can learn more about yourself and the world around you from others. You should not be afraid to reach out when you really need someone to talk to.
5- Apply Your Therapists Advice
If you have been going to therapy for a while, your therapist has probably given you some coping skills or tips to recall when you are in a tough situation. While you are away from them, you should put what you have learned to good use. Using your knowledge from your therapist can help keep you from spiraling or making a choice that could hurt you or others.
6- Help Apps
Although your therapist is trained and licensed to provide help to you, there are apps that can help with your mental health between therapy visits. Apps such as Calm, Headspace, BetterHelp, or crisis hotlines can help you to relax or talk you down. As of July 2022, the Suicide Prevention Hotline number is now 988.
Feeling overwhelmed can get lonely so there are many support platforms that can be used if a family member or friend is not available. Your therapist may also be able to chat with you over text or over the phone between sessions. Don’t be embarrassed about reaching out.
7- Breathing Exercises
Have you ever taken a deep breath and instantly felt better? Doing deep breathing and focusing on just your breathing can help to ground you. There are some specific breathing techniques that your therapist may have given to you specifically, but if you need some more examples, you can find some here.
8- Self Care Practices
Since self care is a popular word nowadays, it can be confusing to understand what exactly self care entails. Self care can really mean anything that you want it to, but it usually refers to something that makes you feel more like yourself. It can be as simple as taking a bath with your favorite scent, eating your favorite meal, or calling a family member that you haven’t talked to in a while. Self care does also not have to be fancy spa treatments, or cost anything. Self care should be taking care of yourself, so that could mean taking a day off work, eating better, or getting some more sleep.
Doing something that will improve your health and well being can be considered self care and doesn’t have to be aesthetically pleasing.
9- Ditch Bad Habits
One of the best ways to improve your mental health is to ditch your self destructive or bad habits. Keeping your mental health between therapy visits in check can be hard when you are having a panic attack or worrying about irrational feels. Your therapist may be working with you on this but going back to old habits when you are having a hard time between sessions. Falling back into bad habits such as drinking, self harm, isolating yourself, not eating, etc.
Breaking a bad habit is rough so falling back into it should be an opportunity to learn. Work through this time and practice better habits that can improve your overall function.
Therapy With Ogden Psychological Services
Finding a therapist that you connect with and can work with effectively is top priority. Ogden Psychological Services strives to ensure you feel at ease, comfortable, and safe in our behavioral health clinic. Our focus is providing you with sound psychological treatment for your unique needs.
We take your privacy seriously and uphold the stringiest standards in order to protect it. We believe that everyone can grow, in respect and diversity, empowering our clients and value individual integrity. Whether you struggle with trauma, anger, ADHD, depression, or chronic migraines we can design a care plan just for you.
These tips combined with consistent therapy can help you feel more sane in your day-to-day life.
Learn more about what issues we treat, our therapists backgrounds and about our Neurofeedback treatments on our website.