Therapy is an amazing tool for self-discovery and healing. It can help you identify and change negative patterns, enhance your self-esteem and you improve relationships with others.
Depending on what’s happening in your life, sessions with a licensed therapist can leave you feeling more empowered, happier and more positive, but there’s no denying therapy takes hard work and can dig up painful feelings and memories as well. Whether you’ve had a great session or you feel like you could use some extra self-care when you walk out of your therapist’s office, these tips for treating yourself right after therapy can lift your spirits and help you manage any feelings that may arise:
Write in Your Journal
Sometimes you need to let it all out, even if you’ve just shared your thoughts with a licensed therapist. Putting pen to paper is therapeutic and can help you release negative thoughts. Journaling is also a valuable tool when you’re feeling optimistic. Don’t self-censor – just let your thoughts flow onto the page.
When you write, you’re using your left brain, which is analytical and rational – you may find that problems you’ve been mulling over in your head don’t seem as big once they’re on the page in black and white. It’s also a great opportunity to put some positive self-talk on the record and spark creativity. When you look back, you’ll be surprised at the insights you’ll find after journaling for a while. Buy yourself a special notebook and keep it handy so you can jot down your thoughts anytime.
Take a Walk
Studies have shown that getting outside and moving your body helps improve your health and happiness. Exercise can reduce stress levels, lower blood pressure and slow heart rate. Even a short jaunt around the neighborhood can give your mood a boost and help you clear your mind. If you’re someone who enjoys hitting the gym, working out after a therapy session is just one more way to show your body and mind some TLC.
Pausing and taking a few deep breaths helps calm your nervous system and your mind; you can do it anywhere – in your car, walking home, sitting on the couch, even in the shower. After a session with your licensed therapist, sit comfortably in a quiet place with your hands gently resting in your lap. Thoughts will arise; simply let them come and go without judgment. Inhale deeply, all the way down to your belly, and as you exhale, envision any negative thoughts or energy going out with your breath. Whether you choose to sit mindfully or meditate for 5 minutes or 20, you’ll reap the benefits of reduced anxiety, less stress and more peace.
Do you love taking long, hot baths, eating a sweet treat from the ice cream shop down the street or pampering yourself with a pedicure? Regardless of what you enjoy doing, treating yourself after therapy is a perfect reward for showing up for yourself in the hour you spent talking with your licensed therapist.