Nurturing your well-being: 10 strategies for a therapeutic break
Taking a break from psychotherapy can sometimes feel overwhelming, but it can also present an opportunity for growth, self-reflection, and rejuvenation. In this article, we'll explore 10 essential strategies to help you navigate the summer break and make the most of your therapy-free time.
Here I will provide practical advice, recommend self-care routines and behaviours, highlight the benefits of a therapy break, and offer crisis hotline resources for emergencies within the UK.
10 things to try during your break from therapy
1. Reflect on your therapeutic journey
During the therapy break, take some time to reflect on the progress you have made so far. Consider the insights, coping mechanisms, and skills you have acquired during your therapy sessions. Journaling can be a useful tool for self-reflection, allowing you to gain clarity and perspective.
2. Establish a self-care routine
Maintaining a self-care routine is crucial during a therapy break. Designate specific times for activities that nourish your mind, body, and soul. This could include practising mindfulness or meditation, engaging in regular exercise, getting enough sleep, and maintaining a healthy diet. Websites like Mind and NHS Live Well offer valuable resources for self-care in the UK.
3. Engage in creative outlets
Exploring creative outlets can be an effective way to express your emotions and channel your energy. Engage in activities such as painting, writing, playing a musical instrument, or dancing. These activities can help you process your thoughts and emotions and provide a sense of fulfilment and joy.
4. Seek support from loved ones
During the therapy break, it is essential to maintain a support network. Reach out to trusted friends, family members, or support groups. Engaging in open and honest conversations can offer different perspectives and provide a sense of belonging.
5. Explore self-help resources
Numerous websites and resources specific to the UK can assist you in enhancing your self-care and personal growth. Websites like Mind and the Mental Health Foundation provide valuable articles, tips, and exercises to support your mental well-being.
6. Practice relaxation techniques
Learning and practising relaxation techniques can be beneficial during the therapy break. Deep breathing exercises, progressive muscle relaxation, or guided imagery can help reduce stress and anxiety. The NHS Every Mind Matters offers resources and information on relaxation techniques in the UK.
7. Embrace nature and the outdoors
Spending time in nature has been shown to have positive effects on mental health and well-being. Take advantage of the summer break by engaging in outdoor activities like hiking, gardening, or simply enjoying a picnic in local parks or countryside. The National Trust provides information about parks, gardens, and historic sites across England.
8. Focus on personal growth
Use the therapy break as an opportunity for personal growth. Engage in self-development activities such as reading self-help books, attending workshops or webinars, or exploring online courses. Websites like FutureLearn and OpenLearn offer a wide range of courses for personal and professional development in the UK.
9. Embrace mindfulness and gratitude
Practising mindfulness and gratitude can foster a positive mindset and enhance well-being. Take moments throughout your day to cultivate mindfulness, focusing on the present moment without judgment. Additionally, keeping a gratitude journal or expressing gratitude to others can shift your perspective and increase feelings of contentment.
10. Understand the benefits of the therapy break
While therapy breaks may initially feel challenging, they can also offer important benefits. A break allows you to integrate what you have learned in therapy into your daily life, test your newfound skills, and evaluate your progress independently. It can provide a space for self-reflection and introspection, allowing you to deepen your self-awareness and self-reliance.
Crisis hotlines in the UK
In case of emergencies or if you need immediate support during the therapy break, consider reaching out to crisis hotlines within the UK:
- Samaritans: 116 123 (24/7 helpline)
- NHS Urgent Mental Health Helpline: Available by calling your local NHS Trust or GP surgery
Although a therapy break may initially seem daunting, it can also be a period of self-discovery and growth. By implementing the strategies mentioned above, engaging in self-care routines, and seeking support when needed, you can make the most of your therapy-free time in England. Remember, you possess the inner strength to navigate through this break and continue your journey towards emotional well-being.