by Guest Blogger Kimberly Hayes
5 Budget-Friendly Ways to Boost Your Health During Treatment
We believe in the power of EMDR therapy to overcome mental health problems like PTSD, addiction, and anxiety, but this doesn’t mean that the recovery is quick or easy. Throughout your treatment, you will have to do the work to ensure your daily routine is supportive of your improvement. By engaging in healthy habits, you can build a better foundation for recovery and for your life to come. This doesn’t have to be expensive — in fact, these techniques are available to everyone, regardless of budget or income.
Looking for Deals
First of all, one of the easiest ways to save money when trying to build healthy habits is to look for deals. While the following sections outline some easy ways to stay healthy without spending much money, you can achieve similar results by keeping a close eye on sites like Groupon. For example, taking advantage of Groupon coupons can help you snag deals on things like gym memberships, meal delivery services, holistic treatments, and health gadgets.
Diet and mental health are closely interlinked. There is evidence that eating a healthy diet rich in nutrients can reduce depression and anxiety, especially when supplemented with probiotics (the “good” bacteria in your gut, where 95 percent of serotonin is produced). Therefore, there is a strong incentive to improve your diet during therapy, as it could actively aid recovery.
Luckily, the best way to eat well and the best way to save money on food happen to be the same: cook meals at home. After all, the average American spends approximately $3,000 a year on eating out, and it is almost impossible to control things like portion size and nutritional value when eating takeout and restaurant food.
In particular, you need to learn to plan your meals. Meal planning reduces the temptation to eat out, and it ensures you don’t waste any money on unused ingredients. This guide by the Kitchn breaks it all down for the uninitiated, from selecting meals to shopping and prepping ingredients, while leaving some wiggle room for the occasional takeout night.
The benefits of exercise for mental health have been proved many times over. It is also a crucial element of a healthy lifestyle. So, if you struggle to get your recommended 150 minutes of exercise into your week, now is the time to start changing that.
Going to the gym or a class can be wonderful (and affordable, as mentioned above), but it is not for everyone. Some might find it embarrassing, or it might be impractical to fit into your routine. Working out at home eliminates this. There are many ways to do this, from YouTube fitness channels to bodyweight strength training or even the classic “treadmill in front of the TV.”
Mindfulness is a crucial part of our therapy process, as we combine it with EMDR to achieve a more balanced, positive approach to life. Integrating mindfulness meditation into your daily routine allows you to continue reaping the benefits well after therapy has finished.
Meditation exploded onto the mainstream in the past few years, so it’s never been easier to start building a practice. There are countless apps available with hundreds of guided meditations, many of which are free, cheap, or have a free trial. Healthline has compiled the 12 best ones, from those offering authentic Sanskrit meditations (Sattva) to those designed for meditation skeptics (10% Happier).
Improving Your Sleep Environment
Many of our patients struggle with sleep due to PTSD or other anxiety-based disorders. While EMDR therapy is in itself designed to improve this, there are things you can do at home to help you sleep better. It’s all about creating a soothing environment that helps you relax, and thankfully, it is possible to do this with on a budget. Some techniques, such as de-cluttering and deep cleaning, are free, while others, like using relaxing scents or adding some relaxing colors to the space, take very little investment. These can frequently feel like small, pointless things, but when added up they can really help you sleep better.
Therapy is one of the most effective tools against mental health disorders, and deciding to start it is a brave and big move. However, that doesn’t mean the work ends when your session does. The habits you build into your daily life are just as important to a long-lasting recovery — and they often cost very little to work on.