One of the oft-cited reasons why people don’t seek therapy is money. Treatment costs a lot, especially when looking at therapists’ hourly rates which can range from as high as $100 to $250 per hour. Immediately, people assume they cannot afford to get professional help, so they stop making efforts for their mental health altogether.
However, there are still many ways you can take care of your mental health even if a therapist might not be an option for you now.
Build Your Support Network
It is highly beneficial for anyone struggling with their mental health to have their trusted circle. Caring for your mental health in total isolation is not only extremely difficult but can also cause you to spiral down even more. Even if you find yourself to be introverted, you will still need support from other people. For this, make sure a nurturing support network surrounds you. These people can also offer you some good advice or provide companionship during a difficult time. Even without a therapist, you will reap the same benefits from your support system. “While many therapists are qualified to treat common challenges such as anxiety or depression, if you are interested in working with a specialist to address a specific challenge, you should consider looking out-of-network.” Stacy Donn Cristo, LMHC emphasizes.
For some, exercising keeps them sane much more than trimming their body in shape. Therapists even recommend exercise or any sort of physical activity since they release endorphins. Endorphins act as happy hormones for your brain, reducing the feeling of pain and triggering positivity in your body. By exercising, you will lower stress hormones and help your mind by working your body. “For starters, exercise releases endorphins, the body’s “feel-good hormones,” that can calm the mind and relax the body.” Clinical psychologist Jenny C. Yip, PsyD said. The better you feel outside, the better you will feel inside.
Eat Healthy Food
The importance of a balanced diet goes beyond nutrition; it is also essential for our mental health. Eating healthy food is vital for self-care as it allows you to feel better physically and even emotionally. Eating foods that are rich in fiber and protein will help keep sugar levels stable and will thus help stabilize anxiety too. In the same manner, complex carbohydrates promote serotonin in the brain, which can regulate your mood, sleep, and appetite. “Eating healthfully, exercising regularly and getting a good night’s sleep are all important elements in a mentally and physically healthy life.” A reminder from Staci Lee Schnell, MS, CS, LMFT.
Additionally, avoiding food that can trigger negative emotions can also be beneficial for you. Foods containing caffeine and sugar mimic the processes of anxiety, so avoiding these might help. To test these pieces of advice, try observing how you feel after eating certain foods as it might surprise how it affects you.
Utilize Online Resources
Even if you can’t afford a therapist, there are online materials you are free to access to help you maintain your mental health. Admittedly, it might not be the complete replacement for a therapist, but it can immensely help you when you need to clear your mind.
Therapist blogs exist online, and actual therapists talk about topics that can serve as guide for their clients. You can easily research these and find therapists who are experts in the kind of issue you’re dealing with. You may opt to subscribe to their newsletter, keep track of their posts, or follow their social media for advice.
Aside from blogs, there are now also additional options like podcasts or YouTube channels ran by clinicians themselves. Try subscribing in these; this way; you can somehow enjoy the benefits of a therapist without the costly rate.
A therapist can certainly help you face your problems, but that’s not the only option. There are various options that don’t require you to spend money you might not have. Take the suggestions above into consideration and see what works best for you. Remember, taking care of your mental health doesn’t have to cost so much.