If you suffer from depression, anxiety, a specific mood disorder, or just excessive stress, therapy may be the right move for your mental health. But if your schedule is already packed with important responsibilities, you may think that attending regular sessions is impossible. How can you attend therapy sessions when you have so little spare time?
Set the Right Goals and Expectations
First, it’s important to set the right goals and expectations. If you feel like you can’t fit therapy into your currently busy schedule, you probably already realize how important it is to attend therapy sessions regularly if you want to see results; you can’t attend a single session, in isolation, and expect to see improvements. This is something that you’ll have to do on a regular basis.
That said, you can choose the intervals that work best for you. Weekly sessions work well for many people, but these aren’t required; you could even go once a month if that’s truly all you have time for.
Additionally, it’s important to avoid overestimating or overstating the amount of time that therapy takes. A standard therapy session is usually an hour, and even if you factor in prep time and recovery time afterward, this is something that should never take more than two hours out of your day. Even the busiest people can find a couple hours a week to tackle something important.
Be Open to an Online Therapist
London is home to countless therapists and psychological professionals who can help you with a wide variety of issues. If you conduct a search, you’ll probably be able to find several professionals near you with availability that fits your schedule.
However, if you’re unable to find a local therapist, or if you don’t like the idea of spending any time going to and from an office, consider getting an online therapist. Online therapists are just as credentialed and just as capable of helping you as local therapists, but they tend to be much more convenient and less time consuming.
Make the Time
Beyond that, it’s important to make the time for your therapy sessions. If your schedule is overcrowded, work on sorting it out.
These are just some ways you can do it:
- Use an off day. First, consider using an off day. Most people are off on the weekends, or at least during one or two days of the week. Many therapists offer services on Saturdays and may be flexible in offering services on Sundays as well; this allows you to seek a session without reordering your work schedule. Of course, if that isn’t possible, you can also consider taking half-days off work for your sessions. The extra time away from the office might be good for your mental health as well.
- Go between errands. You probably spend at least one day a week running errands, like shopping for groceries or picking up the dry cleaning. Consider scheduling your therapy session between these errands, somewhat lengthening your errand time but also taking advantage of a time slot that’s already occupied.
- Reduce mindless entertainment. Relaxing is important for relieving stress and improving overall mental health, but mindless entertainment is something you can afford to lose. Pay attention to how much time you spend doing things like scrolling on social media, watching TV shows you don’t particularly like, or zoning out with a repetitive video game. Is there a way to cut the time you spend on these sessions and rearrange your schedule to make time for therapy?
- Cut back on social obligations. Some people benefit from cutting back on social obligations. It’s good to have thriving relationships with friends and family members, but at the same time, if your schedule is packed with required events, you won’t have any time for yourself.
- Manage your work-life balance. If you’re still struggling to squeeze in therapy, consider managing your work-life balance more proactively. Are you working too many hours? Can you delegate some of your responsibilities? Is it possible to hire some extra help?
- Give it a dedicated time slot. Habits become habits only through consistency. Once you find a time slot for your first therapy session, be proactive and schedule recurring sessions for the weeks and months that follow. Try to go at least once a week until your therapist has the time and information necessary to make a more concrete recommendation.
We all have busy schedules. And none of us can conjure fresh time out of thin air. But if you’re willing to rework your schedule even a little, and seek the help of an online therapist, you should be able to make time for the therapy sessions you need.