Rethinking Self-Care: Therapy as Preventative Maintenance, Not Just Emergency Aid

Therapy as Preventative Maintenance, Not Just Emergency Aid

Hello dear friend,

I hope you are well? I like to think of this blog as a place where we navigate the intricate pathways of good mental health and well-being with compassion and insight.

Consider for a moment what  self-care is to you, beyond skincare and spa dates or indulgent dinners. Think about the notion that therapy is not merely a last resort for emergencies and instead, advocate for its role as a proactive tool for prevention and maintenance.

It’s not what you do when all else fails and you don’t know anything else to do. I am hoping we can consider it more like a space for maintenance, very much like taking a car for fuel top ups and oil checks.

If you have missed our other blog posts this month, you can view them here:

How Positive Thinking Can Boost Your Mood
The Impact of our Environment on our Emotional Well-Being.
How Smiling Can Improve Your Mood and Well-being

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Introduction

The Myth of Emergency Therapy

In popular discourse, therapy is often portrayed as a form of emergency aid – a last resort for people in crisis, grappling with overwhelming emotions or acute mental health challenges.

While therapy certainly plays a crucial role in providing support during times of distress, its potential as a preventative measure is often overlooked.

We live in a culture that glorifies the concept of “self-care” – a term that has been co-opted to encompass everything from bubble baths to retail therapy.

While these activities can certainly provide temporary relief, they often fail to address the underlying issues that contribute to our stress and emotional turmoil.  I clearly remember taking retails trips that ended up bring more stressful than I intended because inside I was in turmoil.

As a result, we find ourselves caught in a cycle of band-aid solutions, seeking temporary reprieve from our symptoms without addressing the root causes of our distress. It’s not difficult to see how some of us become addicted to the bandaid, in the form of alcohol, drugs, food, spending, gambling, porn and gaming.  The temporary solution however will not work over time, it always fails eventually and sometimes leaves you worse off.

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Therapy protects you from the Breakdown

If we shifted our perspective and embraced therapy as a form of preventative maintenance for our mental health? What if we viewed therapy not as a last resort, but as an essential tool for cultivating resilience, self-awareness, and emotional well-being?

Thriving woman

Therapy offers a unique space for reflection, exploration, and growth – a safe haven where we can unpack the complexities of our inner world, confront limiting beliefs, and develop healthier coping mechanisms and learn new ways of living.

We all come with default settings like phones, therapy offers you the chance to customise your settings to be more suited for the life you are living or the one you are trying to grow into.

By investing in therapy proactively rather than reactively, we empower ourselves to navigate life’s challenges with grace and resilience, building a strong foundation for long-term emotional wellness.

Breaking the Stigma

Of course, the journey toward embracing therapy as preventative maintenance is not without its challenges. Stigma, misconceptions, and cultural barriers often deter individuals from seeking the support they need, perpetuating cycles of silence and shame surrounding mental health issues.

As a community, it’s crucial that we break down these barriers and foster cultures of openness, acceptance, and support.

We must challenge the stigma surrounding therapy, normalize conversations about mental health, and ensure that everyone has access to the resources they need to thrive.

How can you do this though when you are afraid of engaging with the process yourself? You can only advocate for something you have experienced and benefitted from. Make the commitment to working on yourself and maybe keep the information to yourself until you have enough experience and courage in the process to share. To be honest your results will speak for themselves even though you are shy to talk about it.

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Embracing a Culture of Proactive Self-Care

I urge you to reconsider your approach to self-care. Embrace therapy not as a last resort but as a powerful tool for proactive self-care and personal growth.

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Prioritize your mental health, invest in your well-being, and remember that seeking support is not a sign of weakness but a courageous step toward healing and self-discovery.

Together, let us redefine self-care as an ongoing journey of self-discovery, growth, and empowerment. Let us embrace therapy as a cornerstone of our mental health toolkit, empowering us to live more fulfilling, authentic lives.

Until next time, With courage and compassion, keep growing.

Stay authentic

Be yourself and keep getting better at it.

Live wholeheartedly,

Amaka

2 Cor 3:2(MSG)
You yourselves are all the endorsement we need. Your very lives are a letter that anyone can read by just looking at you. Christ himself wrote it—not with ink, but with God’s living Spirit; not chiseled into stone, but carved into human lives—and we publish it.

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