Beginning to work on your mental health can seem like a daunting task, but a good start is half a battle won (and you should give yourself a pat on the back for reading this article)! So, here are our tips and advice to help take some edge off the start of your mental health journey.
It’s no longer a myth that self-care is all about the mind, body, and soul. The body and soul aspects might be easier to tackle, with ample gyms, yoga classes, and spas in Hong Kong to suit your needs. But when dealing with the mind, sometimes it’s hard to know where to begin. After all, opening up about your personal struggles to strangers can be pretty intimidating. While breaking the seal on working on your mental health woes may be unnerving, we hope that these tips for starting your mental health journey will help ease you in.
Tips on kickstarting your mental health journey
1. Figure out your needs
The last thing you want to happen when caring for your mental health is to spend ages on a method that doesn’t help your struggles. While this pitfall may sometimes be unavoidable, there are steps that can be taken to help you start off on the right track. Before committing to any form of care, ask yourself: what do I really need out of working on my mental health? Do I have a specific issue I need to address, or is this more for my overall mental wellbeing? Answering these questions can help you decide between going to a therapist versus a psychiatrist, opt for talk therapy or specialised therapy, and whether to pursue medication.
2. Ask (more) questions
Starting your mental health journey is, first and foremost, about yourself. You shouldn’t be a mere passenger on your own ride. A way to combat this is to ask your mental health practitioner whatever questions you may have, no matter how big or small. Querying can help you gain a more active role in your own care and figure out your starting point (and goal). Remember that your mental health practitioner is there to be a resource for you, so make sure you take advantage of that – especially at the beginning.
Ready to talk? Try these reliable counselling services in Hong Kong.
3. Don’t be afraid to try out different mental health professionals
Finding the right therapist or psychiatrist can be an arduous task. It’s easy to meet your first mental health professional and stick with them – simply because it’s too awkward or taxing to seek out for more. But, do trust your gut and try out multiple avenues to get the optimal care you need. The relationship between you and your mental health practitioner is an important one, so don’t be afraid to play the field until you find the right fit.
4. Don’t expect everything to get better right away
One of the biggest misconceptions about starting a mental health journey is that things will get better in an instant. Although we all wish that there was a quick fix to any mental health issue, that is not the reality. The effects of therapy take time (even up to years) to notice, while medication and psychiatric care also have its highs and lows. Keep in mind that sticking to something is the best way to get results. In addition, don’t be disheartened when you fail to see an immediate improvement to your mental wellbeing – it’s a “journey” for a reason!
5. Be open on your own terms
Another misconception about starting one’s mental health journey is that the heavy stuff must be addressed straight away. In reality, embarking on therapy already involves you going beyond your comfort zone emotionally, and pushing yourself even more when you’re not ready may only scare you off from pursuing your care. Although being open in terms of your mental health is important, you should only do so on your own terms and at your own pace. As cliche as it sounds, this expression rings true when it comes to mental health recovery: it’s about the journey, not the destination.