Working Out the Balance in Mental Health
In so much of the work I do as a counsellor, I find that one word comes up time and time again. It’s a simple word but one with incredible meaning and a number of different applications. Balance. It might make you think of riding a bicycle, walking on uneven ground or a ballerina. Of course, these are all relevant but balance in mental health and counselling has many applications.
With clients, I often talk about the tightrope of mental health. By that I infer that the client is walking the tightrope holding one of those long poles to aid balance. On the end of the stick are two buckets, one containing things that replenish their mental health. An example of this would be self-care. On the other end are the things that deplete their mental health, for example doing things to help others. It is often the case that one bucket is heavier than the other – you guessed it – mostly the depleting one. Subsequently, life has become difficult to manage. This visual image alone can be enough to highlight the importance of balance.
Understanding Why Life is Hard
When people forget or cannot find the time to replenish themselves, they can lose sight of what is healthy and good. Whilst specific activities are very unique to the individual, there are often patterns and generalisations that help. For example, being outside doing something is gathering increasing evidence. Our eyes are designed (evolved!) to be more sensitive to shades of green than any other colour. As supported here, the time doesn’t need to be great, just time outside!
Recovering the Balance
Exercise and a healthy diet are other generalisations. I believe in having a balance between mental and physical exercise in order to promote good sleep. Furthermore, a healthy diet does change the way our minds operate and our bodies function. For inspiration watch this video. Time travelling back a few decades in my life, I am reminded of my mother saying ‘everything in moderation’. Now I understand what she meant and see how it fits with a balance in mental health.
If this post resonates with you in any way, please get in touch to find out about counselling sessions in Bristol. I work at a pace to suit you and aim to recover lost balances through a trusting, open relationship. Contact me here.