What is it?
In the simplest terms, applying a holistic approach to mental health means to go beyond the symptoms to treat the person as a whole. It means to encompass all areas of your life which includes diet, exercise, sleep, your relationships, your boundaries, and anything else that contributes to your wellbeing. It is about restructuring your life in a way that is going to help you achieve long-term sustainable great mental health.
What does it look like - IN ACTION?
When I write about applying a holistic approach to mental health, I am mostly referring to optimizing these 4 key factors in your life. This is going to look different for everyone. It’s all about finding specific ways to feel good in all these areas and structuring it in a way where it is manageable long-term. Which believe me, IS POSSIBLE. I know this because this is exactly how I went from a depressed teenager to a thriving adult, and this is how I have supported patients in the past. Good mental health does not have to be difficult if you are willing to put in the work.
If you want to apply the holistic approach, then you need to look beyond your thought patterns and emotions to see everything that is contributing to your mental health. Take the time to reflect on how specific behaviours, food, relationships etc. make you feel. Once you have a clear idea of this, then you can go to the next step of trying to make the appropriate changes that will allow your mental health to thrive in each of these areas.
Why is it important?
Everything in your body is connected. To achieve true wellbeing, you need to take care of your mind along with your body. There is no point in working through childhood traumas if you’re going to eat McDonalds every day. You’re not giving your body the nutrients it needs to build new neural networks and strengthen your mindset. This takes away from the work that you are doing in therapy. Vice versa is also true. There is no point in building a strong physical body if your mindset limits you from living the life that you truly want to.
How I Use the Holistic Approach to Support Patients:
The first thing that I do is conduct a thorough investigation of my patient’s current mental health. I ask lots of questions so that I can understand their health goals and the challenges they are facing.
I then create a comprehensive treatment plan that addresses all of my patient’s goals. The treatment plan also encompasses specific, practical steps to help optimize the pillars of health mentioned above.
We then schedule the appropriate follow-up visits and build on the foundational pieces we discuss during the initial visit. The ultimate goal is to help my patients reset their life for positivity and give them the tools they need to maintain great mental health long-term.
If you are interested in knowing if this is the right fit for you, book a free 15 min discovery call to chat with me!