Very few people sail through life without setbacks and problems. For those times in your life when you need help dealing with an emotional or psychological issue, or when you’re coping with a temporary but tough situation, there are lots of resources you can turn to. There may even be times when you have a wonderful change in your life, such as the birth of a new baby or a job promotion, and you need some support and tips on how to navigate these changes.
While it may be tempting to ride out whatever situation you’re dealing with, there may be times when you need someone to talk to. Ask yourself how you’re being affected by what you’re coping with. Are you sleeping well? Do you feel stressed? Is your appetite not what it used to be? Are your personal relationships being affected? Are you unable to perform at your best level at work?
If you feel like your life and work are being affected by something in your life, it may be time to seek out help from someone. Whether you talk to a professional mental health expert or a good friend, talking to someone about your problem is the first step to solving whatever situation you are facing.
First and foremost, when it comes to people and places you can turn to in times of need, there are friends and family members. They can be there to support you and listen, and offer advice in times of changes or crisis.
There are also resources at work. Many workplaces have employee assistance programs (EAPs) that may offer a mental health professional for you to speak to. The beauty of EAPs is that the counselors are there specifically to help you deal with any number of issues that may come up in your life, whether it’s concerns about an aging parent, depression or anxiety, relationship or financial problems, or even problems with alcohol or other substances. In other words, they’re trained to deal with a wide range of issues that can affect employees; and if they can’t help you, they will refer you to another resource that can. Another big bonus of EAPs: The cost is usually covered by the employer. Check with your employer to find out if these services are available to you.
You can also seek out counseling or psychotherapy on your own. Whether you need to speak to someone about a short-term problem or need to deal with ongoing issues, talking to a professional may be a good option. Social workers, psychologists, psychotherapists, and psychiatrists are all options to choose from when you’re looking for someone to help you work out a problem or situation.
One of the most important things you can do as you try to work through your situation or problem is to stay in contact with the support person or counselor. That might mean checking in regularly to track your progress or keeping scheduled appointments. If you’ve been prescribed medication or have been advised to try certain alternative treatments (say, taking a yoga class to relieve stress or sticking to a new diet to feel more energized), then do your best to keep taking that medicine or stick to the health routine.
When you get the help you need to overcome a problem or work through a tough time in your life, you are more likely to succeed in finding ways to get over that hurdle and improve your life at home and at work.
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