Your self-improvement journey never ends. There will always be something new to learn, new tips and tricks to incorporate into your life and fresh perspectives to see. MindBeacon’s Therapist Guided Programs and Live Therapy sessions are just one part of the overall solution. MindBeacon provides professional mental health support but the work you do in between your therapy to maintain your mental health is up to you.
As you start to think about the future, take time to consider the present. It’s been pretty hard at times over the last year or so, but here you are. You’ve made it. You’ve found ways to adapt and cope – and that’s pretty amazing.
Think about all the work you’ve done and the progress you’ve made to get to this point. You may not be at your destination, but you’ve certainly come a long way. Allow yourself a minute to reflect on what’s helped you most before you think about next steps – before you continue to the next destination on your journey.
Remind yourself of what works for you
When people start to feel better, they sometimes stop applying the skills that have helped them get there. It’s just human nature.
For example, you might see a physiotherapist if you have a sore back, and do your exercises until you feel better. Most of the time, people will then stop doing them…until the next time their back feels sore. The trick, of course, is to keep doing your exercises even when your back feels fine.
Good mental health is the same. The best way to maintain your forward momentum is to continue to use the techniques you’ve found most helpful.
Identify early warning signs
Next, consider what specific early warning signs might indicate that you’re starting to feel worse or not coping as well as you might want to. Common early warning signs include: sleeping more (or less); exercising less; avoiding or procrastinating more; increased irritability, anger or tension; withdrawing from others or saying ‘no’ to activities you normally enjoy.
If you notice signs that you might not be coping as well as you did, it’s important to take steps to address this. Reach out to your sources of support or take the time to schedule activities you enjoy to give yourself a sense of accomplishment. Practice the skills that have helped you thrive in the past. If you need to go back a step or two, that’s okay too.
Good mental health isn’t a destination. It’s a continuous process.
As you look forward in your journey, take time to look back. Recognize the struggles you’ve overcome, the victories and defeats, your strength, and your success. Then, consider all the approaches and tools that have helped you progress towards a healthier life. You’ll probably be amazed at how strong and resilient you’ve become.