Given the benefits of walking outside on mental health, it seems like the natural next step (no pun intended) to take the self-care practice to a more professional level. Walk-and-talk therapy has professionals literally take their sessions outside, where they have the same conversations with their patients as they would regularly, but with the added benefit of (ideally) fresh air, movement, and a more relaxed environment.
The past month has been difficult for me with new mental health symptoms, diagnoses, and medications. Because of my new symptom of fluctuating between having very little energy or motivation and then feeling very motivated and over-confident, my health care team has assigned me the task of completing a daily mood tracker.
Mental health and wellbeing are universally important, but African-American girls can face unique circumstances that result in increased vulnerability to certain mental health difficulties. With this in mind, Lauren Carson created a national non-profit organization in 2008 called Black Girls Smile to promote positive mental health and educational opportunities for these girls and those who care for them.
When you are asked to carve out part of your day to talk to your therapist, it can make therapy appear like a time-consuming endeavor. However, the benefits of therapy do not occur immediately. So, when considering if treatment is a waste of time, it is important to think about its long-term effects.
I was diagnosed with clinical depression and generalized anxiety disorder a couple years ago and therapy has really helped me through it. For a frame of reference, I had severe agoraphobia which means I would get panic attacks anytime I would have to go any further than five minutes away from my house.
When I was first seeing a therapist and diagnosed with anxiety, it felt like a secret. I didn’t know how to bring up this topic with my friends, it felt like something taboo and embarrassing. I was afraid I would be judged and seen differently if people knew that I went to therapy. When I had to miss class for therapy I didn’t tell people why. I was secretive about it and would hope that my friends wouldn’t ask questions about it.
I have been struggling lately and I am now not afraid to admit it. With school, COVID, family and relationship problems, I have been frustrated and stressed with so many different things. I have been mentally and physically exhausted. I finally decided, I need to do something about how I am feeling.