For many individuals who are battling tough times, reframing life into a healthy, nontoxic mode is a challenge. Happily, there are several options when it comes to finding outside-the-box therapies. Some people prefer a combination of medication and counselling, while others look to alternative methods to help them cope and get healthy.
These alternative methods aren’t for everyone. Some may discover that their essential needs are met, but that there’s still stress or anxiety getting in the way of their happiness. For this reason, it’s imperative to do some research on all the methods available to you and talk to your doctor about whether they’re right for you. It’s possible that you may need to try several before you find one that works best in your situation.
RTOR explains art therapy has been used in various recovery situations, from depression and anxiety to PTSD and addiction. It allows individuals to vent their feelings creatively and to discover a new way to cope with them, rather than bottling these feelings up or numbing them with substances. Writing, painting, working with clay, and knitting or sewing are all great forms of art therapy, and they can be done at just about any age. You can even use some apps to get you started.
Taking time away from your daily stresses can be a great experience, which is why adventure therapy is widely regarded as a wonderful recovery method. You might plan a trip to a city you’ve never been to or simply go for a weekend camping trip and hiking session with a loved one. However, this type of alternative recovery isn’t for everyone. Being in a foreign city or in a new situation could trigger anxiety, so it’s important to talk to your doctor before making any plans.
Working with animals, or simply spending time with a pet or service animal, can help reduce
stress and anxiety and actually lower blood pressure, meaning you can work on your mental, emotional, and physical health all at the same time. If you can’t have a pet where you live, consider volunteering at a local shelter or engaging with an animal assisted therapy program near you.
Try a new exercise
Exercise in general is a great way to channel negative feelings into something healthy. Fitting in at least 30 minutes a day of exercise will help you get fit and will allow you to practice mindfulness, which is the act of focusing on the present moment rather than worrying about the past or future.
Psychology Today notes one great exercise for this is yoga, which is often practiced in
conjunction with meditation. It can help improve blood flow and flexibility and is a great
workout to do either alone or with a friend, meaning you can do it from the comfort of your own home or seek out a class. If you don’t know where to begin, check out the helpful app Yoga for Beginners.
If you prefer a more strenuous workout, perhaps running is right for you. Not only does running help you lose weight, Active notes it can even make you happier. Just be sure to start slowly so you don’t risk injury. You can keep yourself motivated by measuring your progress with a fitness tracker or smartwatch; these days, they offer fun and useful features like an SOS function, always-on display, and a compass. You can even accessorise your fitness tracker with a funky (or elegant) wristband. It’s a great way to take the personalization of your wellness regimen in a fresh and fun direction.
There are many paths to wellness, but it may take some time to figure out which ones are right for you. It’s important to talk to your doctor about all the methods available to you and whether you’re in the right physical and emotional shape to try them out. Your journey is yours alone, but you can create a regimen that helps you thrive, now and in the future.
Ben Yates is a personal trainer and behaviour change specialist based at Places Gym Hinckley and Hinckley Leisure Centre in Leicestershire.
Ready to take your wellness program to the next level? Connect with Ben Yates and become a fitter, healthier and happier you. Click here to schedule a free consultation.
This guest article is written by Jason Lewis. A personal trainer, who specializes in helping senior citizens stay fit and healthy. He is also the primary caretaker of his mom after her surgery. He writes for Strong Well and enjoys creating fitness programs that cater to the needs of people over 65.