So you’re going to regular therapy sessions and finding that they’re really helping you work through your mental health problems. But what do you do on those days or weeks between sessions? How do you make sure you keep up the progress when you’re not in your psychologists office? There are a number of ways to continue your progress when you’re not with your psych. Small, easy tasks are often best, as you can tackle them day to day and they won’t feel like such a chore.
Before we delve into the details, it’s important to remember that you can ask your psych for tasks to do in between sessions. This can be super helpful if you want some guidance when it comes to planning your progress. Some therapists can be very hands-on with how they help you – all you have to do is ask! Read our blog on setting expectations with your psych for more information.
Organise your life
Unfortunately, life doesn’t stop when you have a mental illness. This means that things can seem overwhelming very quickly, causing you even more stress and worry. If you’re going to therapy, chances are you’re already working through your day-to-day issues with your psych. But what should you do in the short-term?
Planning and organising your schedule can be a great way to put your mind at ease. Get a diary and pencil in your upcoming appointments, commitments, and deadlines. If you have a lot of work to do, sort out a realistic schedule for when you can get it done. This way, things won’t feel like one big, daunting mess and you hopefully won’t feel as overwhelmed.
Get your body moving
Exercise can be a great way to improve your mental health. So great, in fact, that feelings of depression, anxiety and stress can be reduced by doing around 30 minutes of exercise a few times a week. From a brisk walk or a gym session to riding your bike, whatever gets your blood pumping is perfect. Try to incorporate it into your routine and see how you feel afterwards!
But hey, we’ve written an entire blog about it. Give it a read to learn more about the role exercise plays in your mental health.
Journal your progress
Keeping track of your progress between sessions is a great way to see how therapy has helped you. It’s often hard to recognise positive changes as they happen, so writing them down allows you to look back on how far you’ve come. This can be reassuring, especially if you have a bad day and want some encouragement. It can also be a good way to remember any important thoughts or feelings you want to speak about with your therapist. Most people go weeks between sessions, so it’s easy to forget things. Writing it down will allow you to work through it properly.
As we mentioned in our blog on mindfulness, it is the act of focusing on the present moment. Sounds simple enough, right? Well, for many people with mental health issues – and even those without them – it can be difficult to master. If you have anxiety or depression, for example, many of your worries and concerns are probably focused in the past or future. But by practising meditation or other mindfulness techniques, you can help to calm these thoughts. Spending just 5 minutes per day being mindful is a great way to try and have a break from your negative thoughts or feelings.
There are a variety of ways to do this, with many different techniques available online. Head over to our blog on mindfulness and breathing exercises to find a few easy examples that you can try anywhere, any time.
Feel that your therapy isn’t working?
At the end of the day, your therapy sessions should be helping you move forward with your mental health. While between-session techniques and activities are important, they cannot take the place of effective professional help.
If you don’t feel like your psychologist is giving you the results you want, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us today. We can help you find someone who works perfectly for you – all you need to do is answer a few easy questions.