Your recovery journey
Mental health difficulties are a normal part of life. People look for help and start their journey of recovery every day. Mental health recovery is a process of healing and transformation to help you achieve your potential and live a full life.
Your recovery from a mental health difficulty is unique. Be patient with yourself, and look for good information and support about mental health. The right support should help you keep in touch with your feelings and experiences and to identify your needs.
Because each person’s recovery is unique, what works for one person may not work as well for another. The best way to find out what works for you is to learn about all the treatments and therapies available and make an informed decision.
Some people may find it easier to work one on one with a counsellor or mental health worker while other people find it helpful to share their experience with others in groups and learn together about different approaches to recovery.
Recovery is an ongoing process. Don’t worry if you have ups and downs and setbacks. This is normal. Recovery takes a lot of work and bravery. Be encouraged. Coming to this website and reading this information brings you one step along your journey of recovery.
Shine’s holistic approach
A holistic approach means looking at how the mind, body, emotions and spirit are all connected. Each part contributes to our wellbeing and no one part can be dealt with in isolation. This is Shine’s approach to offering support.
Types of recovery support
Here we explain four different support options that can be part of your recovery journey.
There are lots of talking therapies to choose from but they all involve working with a trained therapist. They may be one-to-one, in group, online, over the phone, with your family, or with your partner.
In general, talking therapies aim to ease distress and improve your coping skills. They can help you to better understand your thoughts, feelings and behaviour.
Talking therapies can make a big difference to your quality of life. They can help you to prepare to go out and interact with the world in the way you want.
Like any therapy, it may take some time to decide which talking therapy is right for you. Some different types include:
Counselling is one-to-one talking therapy. It is less structured than some other forms of talking therapy. Counsellors listen without judgement to what’s going on for you and can help you to explore your options and any issues that are important for you in your recovery process.
Counsellors guide you to focus on your issues in a practical and constructive way. They won’t give you direct advice, but will give you the tools you need to work things out for yourself.
In psychotherapy, you will explore your outlook on the world and where you see yourself in it. This kind of exploration can help relieve anxiety, depression and emotional distress. Your therapist is there to help you to cope with and manage any feelings or emotions that may come up.
The relationship between you and your psychotherapist helps you to explore your feelings, thoughts and behaviour and to understand how current difficulties link to past experiences.
Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT)
CBT is a type of psychotherapy that is especially effective for treating depression and anxiety. In CBT, a therapist will help you to pay attention to your thoughts and beliefs, and look at how they are linked to your behaviour. CBT can teach you practical skills like how to manage your mood.
Tips on looking after your mental health during recovery
Whatever type of therapy you decide on for your care plan, remember you are the expert on how you feel. To help your recovery, think about how you are coping day to day and how you can avoid problems.
To help you along the way, consider the following eight tips to help you mind your mental health during your recovery.
This structure can be flexible and doesn’t have to be fixed. Plan activities and give them set times to make you feel more positive and motivated. For example, go for a walk or cycle early in the morning, eat meals at regular times, speak to someone at the end of the day.
Try to do in at least one physical activity every day like going for a walk, a cycle or doing an active hobby like painting or gardening.
Don’t worry if you have setbacks. Some days will be easier than others. Try to keep active and do things you enjoy. You may have to push yourself to do things at first, but it will get easier in time.
You may feel guilty or ashamed of your experiences at times, but what has happened to you is not your fault. Letting go of shame can really help your recovery in the long term.
Find someone you can trust and who you feel safe and comfortable to share your problems. Talking helps when situations are difficult to cope with.
Share your experiences with other people and hear how they have coped in similar situations. Many people benefit from being involved in these groups by making new contacts, and sometimes new friends. Shine has groups for people with self experience of complex mental health difficulties and related mental health problems throughout the country.
The things you eat and drink have a clear effect on both our physical and mental wellbeing. Eating a healthy balanced diet can make you feel better. It is also important not to drink too much alcohol. Drinking alcohol may make you feel anxious or depressed and it also reacts badly with most medications. Go to www.drinkaware.ie to learn more about healthy drinking habits.
Don’t push yourself too hard. Take a break and relax at regular times during the day. Recovery is a gradual process. The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.
Do things that make you feel good about yourself and who you are.