Going to therapy is a pretty common (though sometimes inaccessible) treatment method when you’re dealing with a mental health issue. But in addition to that, we all have our own ways of maintaining our mental health in our daily lives. Gabrielle Union talked about her strategies in an interview with The New York Times this week.
Union’s new memoir, We’re Going to Need More Wine, actually grew out of years of going to therapy, she tells The Times “There’s a valve at the bottom of my canister where I can let things out in a healthy productive way,” she explained. What does a “healthy, productive” coping mechanism look like? Union says her techniques include: “Skype sessions with my therapist, with friends, silence, sitting out in nature, time with the kids, with my dogs. Watching This Is Us.” All of which she says “has been quite therapeutic.”
For instance, she candidly covers the emotional and psychological tolls of undergoing treatment for infertility and experiencing “eight or nine miscarriages” in her new book. “For three years, my body has been a prisoner of trying to get pregnant,” she writes in an excerpt published by People. “I’ve either been about to go into an IVF cycle, in the middle of an IVF cycle, or coming out of an IVF cycle.”
She has also been open about her experience as a survivor of sexual assault, saying that the recent #MeToo movement triggered her symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder. “I saw #MeToo and my arm went numb,” she said on the show in October. “I thought it was all about me and when I realized literally hundreds of thousands of people, men and women, [were] talking about being a part of this unfortunate club…it just rips your heart out.” So it’s understandable that therapy (in all its many forms) would be especially crucial for Union.
For most mental health issues, some combination of therapy and/or medication is the go-to treatment. But even if you aren’t dealing with a diagnosable mental illness, counseling can be a helpful way to examine your emotions and your relationships. Unfortunately, it’s not as accessible as it should be—maybe you’re having trouble finding a therapist who takes your insurance or finding someone with the specialized skills necessary to help you. Or maybe you’re facing the very real stigma in our society that comes with having a mental health condition and seeking treatment for one.
In those cases, finding your own coping mechanisms are even more important. That might include writing down all of your thoughts so you have a safe space to vent and become more aware of your negative thought cycles, licensed clinical psychologist John Mayer, Ph.D., told SELF previously. Taking daily walks, making a list of your go-to people, and creating a bedtime ritual to improve your sleep are also all great (therapist-approved) ideas. But it may take time to find the set of tools that work for you. So, above all, give yourself permission and time to figure it out.
Source Article from https://www.self.com/story/gabrielle-union-therapy