In today’s fast-paced world, it can be challenging to maintain a healthy lifestyle. With busy schedules and constant stress, many people struggle to prioritize their physical and mental well-being. When the weight of life becomes too overwhelming to carry on your own, it may be time to consider whether outpatient treatment can provide the support you need.

Sierra Vista Hospital has compiled a list of the top 10 healthier habits outpatient treatment can help you learn and implement in your daily life. From developing self-care practices to developing strong coping mechanisms, including outpatient therapy in your mental health recovery can have significant advantages.

What Is Outpatient Treatment?

Before we dive into the healthy habits outpatient therapy can teach you, you may be wondering: What is outpatient treatment?

Outpatient treatment is a form of mental health treatment in which people attend therapy sessions on a scheduled basis. Unlike inpatient treatment, it does not require patients to stay overnight in a hospital or facility. Instead, people can return to their daily lives after the scheduled session is done.

Outpatient treatment can be beneficial for those exhibiting mild to moderate symptoms of mental health issues, but who are still able to carry out their daily responsibilities. It is designed for those who need a helping hand in managing their mental health. If your mental health condition has become disruptive enough to prevent this, it may be time instead to consider an inpatient program.

There are two main types of outpatient programs: Intensive outpatient programs (IOPs) and partial hospitalization programs (PHPs).

IOPs are structured treatment programs that provide a higher level of care than traditional outpatient therapy. They are designed for people who require more intensive treatment but do not need to be admitted to a hospital. In IOPs, patients attend therapy sessions for several hours a day, several days a week. 

These programs typically focus on group therapy, individual therapy and psychoeducation to address mental health issues and teach valuable coping skills. Sierra Vista Hospital provides evening intensive outpatient programs for adults on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 5:00 to 8:00 pm.

PHPs are similar to IOPs but offer a more comprehensive level of care. They involve a structured treatment plan where patients receive therapy for several hours a day, usually five days a week. PHPs may also involve medication management, psychiatric evaluations and other medical services. 

These programs are suitable for individuals who require a higher level of support and supervision but do not need 24-hour care in a hospital setting. Sierra Vista Hospital’s partial hospitalization program is held Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 2:20 p.m.

What Habits Does Outpatient Treatment Teach You?

Outpatient treatment can provide patients with valuable wellness tips to help them create healthier habits and enact powerful transformative changes in their lives. Sierra Vista Hospital has identified the following as the top 10 healthier habits patients can learn how to build during outpatient treatment.

1. How to prioritize self-care

Self-care is essential for maintaining good mental and physical health. Outpatient treatment can be a valuable resource for teaching patients how to prioritize their self-care. Through therapy sessions and guidance from healthcare professionals, people can learn effective strategies and techniques to make self-care a top priority in their lives. This may involve identifying their personal needs, setting time aside for themselves and establishing healthy habits that contribute to their overall well-being.

Self-care practices may look different from person to person. This is why talking to a mental health professional can help you learn what self-care looks like for you.

2. How to practice mindfulness

Mindfulness is the practice of being present in the moment and paying attention to one’s thoughts and feelings without judgment. Mindfulness strategies can include activities such as deep breathing exercises, meditation and journaling, which can help individuals become more aware of their thoughts and emotions, leading to improved focus and reduced stress levels. Outpatient treatment can teach people how to incorporate mindfulness into their daily lives, which can help reduce stress and improve overall well-being.

3. How to set and achieve realistic goals

Setting realistic goals is incredibly important when it comes to creating lasting change in a person’s life. This is because these goals act as a roadmap, guiding individuals on the path toward the desired changes they wish to make. One effective way to establish and work towards these goals is through outpatient therapy, as it offers a supportive and empowering environment where individuals can set achievable objectives. 

Through the help and guidance provided by outpatient therapists, people can gain the necessary tools, resources and strategies to overcome obstacles and successfully reach their goals. By combining professional expertise with personalized support, outpatient therapy becomes a valuable resource for individuals seeking long-term, transformative change.

4. How to create a strong support system

Having a strong support system is also important for maintaining good mental health. Outpatient treatment helps people identify their support systems and acts as a resource for building new ones. For example, while in outpatient treatment you may learn how to identify the people in your life you can count on, whether they be friends or family. Outpatient therapy can also point you in the direction of support groups in your area. By joining them, you open yourself up to the possibility of being surrounded by those who understand and empathize with your struggles.

5. How to incorporate physical activity

Studies have shown that physical activity is not only beneficial for physical health but also for mental health. Physical activity has been proven to activate the release of endorphins, dopamine and serotonin in the brain, which are known as the “happiness chemicals.” Furthermore, physical exercise can contribute to increased feelings of self-confidence, self-esteem and self-worth. Outpatient treatment can help people find physical activities they enjoy and teach them how to incorporate those activities into their daily routines.

6. How to develop coping mechanisms

Outpatient treatment can be a helpful resource for people looking to develop healthy coping mechanisms. Through therapy sessions and guidance from therapists, outpatient treatment can teach people various strategies to manage and cope with stress, emotions and challenges in a healthier way.

For example, outpatient treatment can teach deep breathing and relaxation techniques. These techniques can help individuals reduce anxiety and stress by promoting a sense of calm and relaxation. By practicing deep breathing exercises, individuals can learn to regulate their breathing and lower their heart rate, leading to a greater sense of peace and well-being.

7. How to improve communication skills

Outpatient treatment sessions serve as a safe and nurturing environment where people can freely explore and work on their communication skills. This enables them to refine their understanding of effective verbal and nonverbal communication practices. Within these therapeutic settings, skilled therapists are poised to offer invaluable guidance, teaching patients to refine their listening abilities, foster assertiveness and learn conflict resolution techniques.

8. How to enhance self-awareness

Outpatient treatment can help people develop a deeper understanding of their thoughts, emotions, and behaviors. Through self-reflection and exploration, individuals can gain insight into their patterns and make positive changes. Outpatient treatment can also help individuals develop effective problem-solving skills, which can contribute to healthier and more fulfilling relationships.

9. How to build healthy relationships and set boundaries

Sometimes, personal relationships may suffer as a result of increasing mental health struggles. Outpatient treatment can provide people with tools and strategies to rebuild and maintain healthy relationships, whether they be personal, romantic, familial or professional. There are several ways of doing this.

For example, outpatient treatment can help you learn how to set and maintain healthy boundaries with those you care about, which can ultimately strengthen the bonds you share. Other habits outpatient treatment can help with include improving empathy and understanding and enhancing communication within relationships.

10. How to achieve holistic healing

One of the main benefits of outpatient treatment is that it provides a holistic approach to healing. Unlike traditional therapy, which may focus solely on addressing specific symptoms or issues, outpatient treatment takes into account the individual’s overall well-being. 

Therapists work with patients to identify and address any underlying factors that may be contributing to their mental health struggles. This can include lifestyle habits, relationships, past experiences and more. By taking a holistic approach, outpatient therapy can help individuals create lasting changes and improve their overall quality of life.

Help Is Available at Sierra Vista Hospital

Outpatient therapy can be a valuable tool in helping patients create healthier habits. By following these wellness tips and seeking support through outpatient therapy, people can take control of their mental and physical health and live a happier, healthier life.

Sierra Vista Hospital, in Sacramento, California, is here for your mental health needs. Our inpatient program and outpatient program for adults and adolescents provide the support you need, when you need it.

Learn more about how we can help by giving us a call at 916-288-0300 or get in contact with us by using this form.

If you are in crisis and need assistance immediately, call 911 or 988 for the Suicide Prevention Hotline or go to the nearest emergency room.