Before entering therapy, prospective clients should consider two cost effective and readily available alternatives. This isn’t rocket science but exercise and sleep factor heavily into mental health.
Numerous studies have demonstrated the benefits and also clarified the threshold exercise amounts required to achieve those benefits. Thirty minutes of walking, three times per week – that’s it. You can even break up your thirty-minute walks into three brisk ten-minute walks. Some of the possible benefits include: stress relief, improvement in mood, reduced tiredness (which could increase mental clarity) and increased interest in sex.
Sleep is crucial as well. Sleep and its impact on mental health is extremely well researched. The research suggests that a consistent sleep schedule of a minimum of seven hours can significantly improve your mental health both now and throughout your lifetime.
For many people, just improving sleep hygiene and scheduling a few walks (per week) could be enough of an intervention. Psychotherapy may not be necessary. If you have already attempted to improve your sleep and exercise regularly but have not seen improvements in your overall mental health (or if you have been unable to implement these steps) – individual therapy (in addition to consulting your general practitioner) may be warranted. Here are some photos of Sophie Levenberg demonstrating healthy exercise habits and good sleep hygiene.