Wiconi Counseling Center
* Wiconi: Lakota word meaning "Life"

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Ways to care for your mental health if you can't afford therapy

Find what brings you joy.  Often times activities may require another person to go along, and this can add to feelings of loneliness and failure if our friends and supports are busy when we are available. Seeking out new hobbies and interests can not only be rewarding in the long run, but can bring a sense of adventure and meaning to our lives. A plus side is that it can be accomplished alone or with friends. 

Eliminate the guilt from taking time for yourself. One way for some to recharge their batteries is to sit and enjoy a few hours of television. The difficulty lies in our negative self talk about this activity. Practice sitting in the moment, enjoy watching television, and recognize the importance of self care - sometimes through "vegging".  

The outdoors. Not everyone enjoys the outdoors, but if this is something you might enjoy, spend as much time as possible there. Even spending a few hours in the evening watching the sunset can bring a sense of peace to an anxious mind. Making sure to be mindful of the present moment and the beauty around you can work wonders for mental well being. 

Exercise. This can be a catch-22 situation if one puts high expectations on the results of exercise, rather than just exercising for the sake of exercise and well being. Making sure to not burden ourselves with goals and outcomes, working out can be a natural way to increase positive chemicals and bring a sense of accomplishment.