Starting therapy can take a lot of courage. It can be challenging to open up to a stranger and to know where to begin. But often, reaching out for help from a therapist can be the first step towards feeling better. Here are some indicators that therapy could be helpful in your life:
1) When you’ve been trying on your own, but things aren’t getting any better. Sometimes situations are too overwhelming to deal with on your own. If ways you’ve helped yourself in the past aren’t working, it may be an opportunity to learn new tools.
2) When you feel unable to talk to friends or family. It’s can be rewarding to lean on loved ones for support, but there are some issues that you may not feel comfortable sharing with them. It can be helpful to work with someone neutral, who can give feedback and support objectively.
3) When you are ready to work hard and make changes. Modifying patterns in relationships, revisiting past experiences and shifting old ways of thinking can be incredibly challenging. Therapy takes work, but can lead to transformative results.
4) When you feel stuck. Do you ever find yourself repeating unwanted patterns in your life? It can be difficult to find ways to cope and change thoughts and behavior, especially when you don’t know why those patterns exist. Therapists can be guides in this process.
5) When you’re going through a transition. It may be a great time for you to get to know yourself better and to get additional support to deal with changes in your life.
Beginning therapy can feel vulnerable. But even though asking for help can be hard, it can be relieving to know that you don’t have to figure it out all by yourself.
Have you ever noticed that some tasks are incredibly easy to complete, but others feel nearly impossible to start? Here are some tips to help decrease procrastination:
1) Break large tasks into smaller parts that are easily achieved. Make sure each small task is manageable and realistic. Set aside a small chunk of time to work on a task. Sometimes even the smallest amount of time can be a great way to gain momentum. Set an alarm for 15 minutes and see what you can complete in that amount of time.
2) Acknowledge your discomfort. Usually, thinking or worrying about starting a task can feel even more difficult than actually doing it. Practice noticing when discomfort is associated with certain tasks and remind yourself why they are hard for you. It can also be helpful to journal about your avoidance to gain self-awareness and clarity.
3) Put away electronics or other distractions. Leave your phone in the other room. If you need to work on the computer, disconnect your internet or block certain sites, like Facebook or Twitter. If you have pets, put them in the other room temporarily. Give yourself the space to focus.
4) Remember that things only have to be good enough. They don’t have to be perfect! If you have high expectations you are more likely to be disappointed with your performance. The goal is completion, not perfection, especially with tasks that feel difficult.
5) Balance out unpleasant tasks with fun and rewarding activities. Try not to schedule all the uncomfortable responsibilities at one time. Break them up with activities that feel easier and more enjoyable for you.
Sometimes all you can do is take small steps. Practice being aware of expectations you place on yourself and try to accept your limitations. We can’t be perfect and we definitely can’t be 100% productive all the time. Give yourself the opportunity to meet your goals by finding ways to manage procrastination.