New Years Resolution: Improving Mental Health
2017 has started, everyone is going back to work, school and their normal routines. The new year is synonymous with making new years resolutions to improve yourself. A common new year’s resolution is to lose weight and become physically healthier. Something not so common is making goals to become mentally healthier. Now I will agree, putting “going to counseling” on your 2017 vision board doesn’t look as fun as a picture of a sunny beach on some tropical island. Nonetheless, your mental health is important and striving for improvement in this area has many benefits,trust me, I’m a counselor. You don’t have to be in a major crisis or World War III with loved ones in your life to be in counseling. Counseling can be focused on working with you to set life goals or a safe place to express yourself. For many people there can be common obstacles to focusing on mental health and establishing new ways to make improvements.
Three Obstacles to Improving Mental Health in 2017
Stigma of Counseling
If I had a dime for every time counseling was followed with the statement “I’m not crazy or that’s for crazy people”, I would be a very wealthy man (I’m not wealthy, for those wondering). This is a common misconception or stigma that is attached to counseling. This may have to do with television, movies or media, causing people to think of extreme cases and clients that are in counseling. After almost 4 years working as a counselor and 2 years in a PhD program I can confidently proclaim being in counseling does not mean you are crazy. Life can just get tough, overwhelming at times and you may need help. It is okay to ask for and receive help, that’s why counselors are there…to help.
You Don’t Have Time
Okay, so let’s be real. How in the world can you fit in going to see a counselor once a week when you already have countless responsibilities on your plate? Well, like everything that is important to you and is a high priority you plan accordingly. Making your mental health a high priority is vital and making improvements in this area can benefit many areas in your life. You can’t pour from an empty cup, meaning if you haven’t taken the time to focus on yourself, you may not have much to give as an employee, parent or friend. At some point you have to make yourself and your mental health a priority and be unapologetic about that. In the great words of Beyoncé “I ain’t sorry.”
Finding a Good Fit
You may be thinking, “How can I find a counselor that is a good fit for me or really gets me?”. Thankfully, technology gives you the opportunity to find a counselor within minutes. You can search for a counselor at your fingertips in the comfort of your home at websites such as Psychology Today. Most counselors will have a website or profiles giving you all the information necessary to give you an idea of who they are and what mental health services they can provide to you. When you take that big step and meet a counselor it may not be the right fit for you, that’s okay. A good counselor will not be offended if you think they are not a good fit for you. As the client, your well-being comes first. As licensed professional counselors we have a very long ethical code that holds us to that standard. Therefore, it is okay to be vocal about fit and the service you are receiving.
Its 2017, a new year and a new opportunity to make improvements with your mental health. Taking the step to get help can be tough and you may have more than these three obstacles to overcome. I encourage you to take that step and make yourself a priority. Counseling can help you with stressors, relationships, and many challenges in your life. If you would like to learn more please call us 832-421-8714 or contact us here.