Can’t Escape Anxiety! As A Therapist, What Can I Do?
Therapists often experience their own anxiety when they’re working with clients. It can be really difficult to help others when you are struggling yourself. Therapists often feel anxious about their own health and wonder whether they will be able to keep practicing if they don’t get their anxiety under control. Here are ten ways to help reduce the level of anxiety you’re feeling.
10 Ways To Reduce Your Anxiety
- Plan/Go on a weekend getaway: If you find yourself feeling overwhelmed by your weekly calendar and casework on a Monday morning, it might be time for a short weekend break. Expectations placed on oneself by one’s supervisor, colleagues, and clients can lead to doubts about one’s sanity. You need a quick escape from your daily activities to recharge yourself both mentally and physically. A weekend away can provide this for you. Going away for a weekend doesn’t just relieve stress; thinking about where you want to go and what you’d like to do during your getaway can help take your mind off things at work as well.
- Listen to music: As therapists, we often tell our clients to listen to music when faced with anxious thoughts. We need to follow our own instructions. Music is an effective method for reducing stress and anxiety. It helps us to relax and be calmer. Listening to music has been shown to reduce the heart rate, blood pressure, and muscle tension in people who are stressed out.
- Exercise: Yes, we know this to be true, yet we avoid making it a priority. Therapists should exercise regularly because it reduces stress levels and improves mood. Exercise also increases endorphins which make us happy. If you don’t have any physical activity planned for that day, try walking or running around the block. This will not only give you some fresh air, which helps blood flow, the anxiety you’re dealing with will begin to dissipate.
- Take a bath/shower: Taking a hot bath or shower can help ease anxiety. After a long day of mental stimulation, taking a relaxing soak in a warm tub or shower can help you unwind. When you feel relaxed, you’ll be able to think more clearly and deal with your problems better and deal with whatever’s causing you anxiety.
- Meditate: Therapists should practice meditation regularly because it helps them relax and reduce their stress levels. Meditation is a great method for clearing your mind and relaxing. Try meditating for 5 minutes by simply sitting silently and focusing on your breath. Take slow deep breaths. You may find yourself thinking about something that’s bothering you, but if you focus on your breathing instead, you’ll notice how quickly those thoughts pass. As mental health professionals, we often get asked for advice when facing difficult situations. You must be fully prepared for your client meetings, and be at your best when sitting in front of them.
- Sleep: We all know how essential sleep is. However, often we forget to prioritize our own needs. As a therapist, you’re probably working long hours and stressing out, trying to keep up with your notes. If you’re struggling to fall asleep, try listening to calming music before bedtime. Also, try using relaxation techniques such as progressive muscle relaxation. These methods allow you to control your muscles while you’re lying down and relaxing. Anxiety can cause insomnia, so you may need to seek help from a medical and mental health professional.
- Take your dog for a walk: Walking your dog gives you two benefits. First, it gets you out of the house and into nature. And being outside aids in lowering your stress level. Second, it provides you with a form of therapy. Dogs require little attention, and they love to run around and play. They offer unconditional love, which makes them perfect companions for therapists. The interaction between the two of you will help reduce anxious feelings.
- Go for a drive: Driving is another way to clear your head and relax. It gives you time away from work to think about other things. You should avoid going somewhere noisy where there are lots of people around. Take a scenic route and enjoy the scenery. Practice mindfulness during your driving experience.
- Get away from technology: Technology is everywhere these days. It’s hard to escape its influence. But sometimes, we need to take breaks from social media, email, and phone calls. We need to disconnect from technology and spend time alone. This allows us to recharge and re-energize ourselves.
- Seek professional help yourself: Sometimes as therapists, we need to seek professional assistance for our own mental health issues. Sometimes we just don’t have enough energy to cope with everything that comes along. In times like this, it’s important to talk to someone who understands what you’re going through. Someone who specializes in anxiety can help you cope with stress and anxiety. There are many ways to find an experienced therapist. You may be referred by your doctor or another mental health professional. Or you may search the internet for a therapist near you. If you decide to look online, make certain you visit sites such as Psychology Today.
Get Support From A Mental Health Professional
The staff at New Heights Counseling & Consulting, LLC wants you to know, that help is available. Call us at (850) 757-1552 to set up an appointment with one of the professionals who specializes in helping people overcome anxiety, negative views, and perspectives. Check out our staff bios on our website at meet our team. Therapists will help you at whatever pace you’re comfortable with and will be available for you every step of your journey. Take advantage of this opportunity to reduce your level of anxiety and live a happier life.
9 Ways Therapists Personally Deal With Anxiety – Dominique Astorino
Anxiety How Do I Know, by Shareen Ancog
The Art of Mindfulness by Hillary Marshall
Other Mental Health Services Offered At New Heights Counseling
The staff at New Heights Counseling provides both individual sessions and couples therapy, not only for anxiety but for a wide variety of mental health concerns and mental disorders. Our services are for children, adolescents, and adults and we offer in-person sessions at our Fort Walton Beach, FL location and online therapy for the state of Florida.
We are located on the 2nd floor of WorkSpace Suites at 1992 Lewis Turner Blvd, Suite 1057, Fort Walton Beach, FL 32547. Get directions here Google Maps or visit our office location webpage. Our office hours are Monday through Friday, 8 AM to 4 PM. Evenings/Weekends by appointments. Call (850)757-1552.
About the Author:
Colleen Wenner is the founder and clinical director of New Heights Counseling Center, where she provides counseling services for individuals struggling with mental health issues. She is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and Master Certified Addiction Professional. Colleen is a certified supervisor in Florida as well as an EMDR trauma-certified practitioner and consultant in training. She is also licensed by the state of Virginia to provide professional counseling. Colleen is committed to providing excellent client care and services the Fort Walton Beach, Crestview, Niceville, Destin, and surrounding communities.
Colleen has always advocated for mental health wellness and she has dedicated her entire life to promoting awareness among the public. She has been featured on a variety of podcasts such as Practice of the Practice (The #1 Podcast for counselors in private practice), Shrink Think Podcast, and The Salty Christan Podcast to name a few. Colleen uses compassionate and authentic communication to help clients understand themselves better and feel more confident about their ability to improve their lives.