Setting yourself up for success

Rest is vital. Rest is not “laziness.” You do not need to “earn” rest. 

Often times therapy will focus on setting yourself up for success. This means that you need to get curious about the factors that make you vulnerable to symptoms of anxiety, stress, depression, or other mental health concerns. A common vulnerability is not getting the rest your body needs. Listen to your body, mind, and heart when it is telling you to take a break. These breaks can vary based on what you need. Some examples include:

  • Taking a couple of minutes to step outside during a family gathering to get away from the noise and pressures of being around others. 
  • Going to bed at your usual time or earlier than normal if you have something stressful going on the next day. 
  • Setting timers on your phone/tablet to decrease mindless use of devices.

Some other vulnerabilities that are important to pay attention to are any changes in routine, not eating or drinking enough, changes in medications or a missed dose, feeling sick, and alcohol/substance use. Take time to think about what makes you more vulnerable to stress or other mental health concerns. Are there times where you are more vulnerable? If so, what is different during those times? What can you try to do in the future to help minimize those vulnerabilities? 

Paying attention to these factors and attending to them can lead to preventing symptoms that cause distress or impairment. Taking the time to do some work up front can make a huge difference in helping stabilize your mood, decrease frequency or intensity of mental health concerns, and lead to greater life satisfaction.