Modern life is full of time-saving conveniences. So why does it always feel like we’re short on time? In fast-moving cities like New York City and San Francisco, students and professionals alike are constantly on the go. And this, unfortunately, means that they all too rarely have time for their health.
Sure, they may make a quick stop at the university fitness center or choose a salad when they’re getting lunch, but they’re also likely to rush through their workouts and eat that salad at their desks. They work late and, when they’re finally back in their private space, they might have time for a little bit of Netflix before bed — that is, if they’re not still answering work emails or taking a late-night phone call from their boss!
Fitting mental health care into a busy schedule like this isn’t easy, but it’s incredibly important. Here are some tips for making sure that you’re giving your health the attention it deserves.
Finding Time for Counseling
Contrary to popular belief, therapy and counseling are not just for patients dealing with mental illness. Psychology today is about more than just addressing diagnosed problems; it’s also about developing strategies for improving thought patterns and behaviors in a person’s daily life. From work stress to domestic violence, there is virtually no personal or interpersonal problem that can’t be aided by therapy. While getting a therapist is not by any means a cure-all, it is the first step toward healthier thoughts and behaviors. From your first session, you’ll see that therapy is a great way to cope with everyday problems as well as serious mental illness.
Finding a therapist who is a good fit can be tough, though. Tougher still is finding an appointment that will work with your busy schedule. That’s why more and more people are turning to online therapy. There are big movements toward online therapy in San Francisco, New York City, and other cities large and small. The appeal is obvious: Online therapy allows busy people to get individual therapy in an environment that is more conducive to their busy schedules. Thanks to teleconferencing software, online therapists can even offer face-to-face therapy over the web.
Training Your Body, Training Your Mind
Can you possibly find time to care for your mental health and your physical health? Actually, that’s a trick question. In many cases, caring for one means caring for the other.
When you take group fitness classes, for instance, you burn calories and advance toward your fitness goals. But you also socialize and energize your mind. You release endorphins and feel better mentally as well as physically. Hitting a great gym can trigger a pleasurable mental reaction (in fact, experts say that it’s even possible to become addicted to exercise).
A personal trainer of an option offered by one respected fitness center in Flemington, NJ, and is a great way to keep yourself accountable when a busy schedule threatens to throw your personal training off course.
Motivation and Finding Time
Structuring your daily life around gym visits and e-counseling isn’t necessarily easy, and there are only so many ways to find time for your therapist and your trainer. The reality is this: To find time, you’ll need to want to.
And that means understanding just how important this is. It means understanding that the United States is full of people with poor mental health, and that being “just like everyone else” is not a good reason to ignore your mental health needs. It means recognizing that skimping out on your mental health has real consequences, some of which directly undermine the (lousy) reasons that so many avoid getting help in the first place. Are you “too busy?” Well, you’ll be a whole lot more busy if you suffer from burnout and fall behind. Think the gym membership fee is too much? Well, think twice about what you spend on things that are bad for your mental and physical health (like booze), and consider how your lack of work-life balance and poor mental health could impact your earning potential. A membership fee is a lot cheaper than burning out and losing your job.
Caring for your mental health when you’re busy is easier said than done, but so are most things in life. To make the big changes, the first thing that you have to do is get started. Take the first step. Call a therapist, find a great place to work out, and start in on a new daily schedule. Keep at it and make your new priorities a habit. If you do, you’ll see big positive changes in your life.