Guest blogger Casey Bottono talks about whether or not counselling and therapy qualify as self-care and the benefits that can come from seeking professional help.
Modern life can feel a lot like jumping through a series of hoops, with no particular outcome in mind. The self-care regimes we put into place to counteract the stresses and strains are many and varied, but you might not think of counselling or therapy as part of that practice.
Seeking support outside of oneself is undoubtedly a scary and difficult thing to do. Having been through the mill myself, I know how easy it is to sit and watch the mice run around the wheel that is the brain of the struggling individual. In my experience, one of the key features of the struggle with mental health is the removal of the desire to do anything to change that.
In broad brushstrokes, self-care can be defined as anything that one does in order to improve one's mental or physical state of being. Just because it has 'self' in the title doesn't mean it's solely dependent on you, though. Seeking assistance from friends, family or other members of your social circle may well help in the short term. Seeking help from somebody who is trained to assist in the management of mental health will see rewards that you might never have imagined.
As to the question of whether counselling can form part of a self-care practice, I believe that it is not only possible, but in some cases may be a necessary addition to existing self-care practices. Many universities and colleges offer opportunities for students to benefit from counselling services, and there are initiatives as well for individuals who are in working environments.
Information about all of these resources can be found readily on the internet. Whatever your path, I wish you success in finding a self-care practice and/or counsellor that works with you and for you.