Oftentimes, clients think that the only work that needs to be done in therapy is IN the therapist’s office. That is only part of the job. Clients sometimes feel like that is the only place where growth can happen and that is simply only part of the work. Therapy is intended to provide a space safe to discuss issues and should be used as a tool to better your life outside the four walls of your therapist’s office.
But what happens sometimes in between sessions and why can things still be problematic? As a therapist, I ask myself, what are my clients doing in between their sessions to continue their work? Are you putting in effort just like I see you doing in our sessions?
It’s important to maintain self-care in between sessions. Therapy itself is a self-care act but it’s not enough if you aren’t putting in effort in between sessions. Self-care is the action to improve one’s health. Self-care can look different to each person depending on what your definition of self-care is.
The purpose of self-care is to improve your relationship with yourself. It’s encouraged to create a healthy relationship between your mind and body. Self-care can be as simple as prioritizing sleep when you’ve had a busy workweek or as big as taking a trip because you feel in yourself that a break is needed.
Self-care is anything from maintaining your hygiene, seeking medical attention, and prioritizing your mental health. It requires
The benefits of self-care are endless. It can help boost motivation and energy. Self-care can reduce stress, frustration, anxiety, and anger. It can help encourage a healthy work-life balance and prevent burnout. It can boost your self-esteem and lead to better relationships with yourself and others. When you do positive things for your system, the whole system benefits.
There are many dimensions to self-care; health, emotional, environmental, physical, social, spiritual, intellectual, and more. These dimensions if worked on appropriately, can lead to higher levels of wellness.
These are a few things that self-care can look like:
- Getting adequate sleep
- Taking charge of your health
- Seeing friends face-to-face
- Nurturing relationships
- Making time for mentally stimulating activities
- Prioritizing your mental health
- Engaging in spiritual practice
- Processing emotions
- Having a skincare routine
- Taking a ME day
- Calming your mind
- Getting outside
- Stretch your body
I try to conduct a few forms of self-care throughout the week. It is important to maintain an overall sense of well-being as a natural routine in your life. My form of self-care looks like taking an extra long walk with my dog, doing weekly yoga, interacting with my friends and family, and utilizing my Sundays as my “me” day to prepare for my week ahead. I would recommend to each and every single one of my clients to find what form of self-care works for them. Finding time throughout the week to prioritize making themselves the main focus and doing something that creates meaning toward their overall well-being.
Self-care is an important activity to do each and every day. Doing so will lead to a much better-balanced life among all dimensions of wellness. Life is difficult as it is and it’s meant to be enjoyed to the fullest.