Updated: Aug 16, 2021
Lately I have been thinking about how the ups and downs of the pandemic, including polarized viewpoints, require us to remain balanced in order to cope. As a result, I have been reading about “emotional wellness” and how we can support this aspect of our overall health and well-being.
Some takeaways and tips to manage stress, improve your resiliency and increase your emotional wellness include these:
Be positive and give yourself credit for the good things you do each day.
Get connected by strengthening your social circle and reaching out to friends and loved ones by phone and through social media.
Relieve stress by meditating, being in nature and prioritizing your tasks.
Get quality sleep. For better-quality sleep:
Go to bed at the same time each night, and get up at the same time each morning.
Sleep in a dark, quiet, comfortable environment.
Exercise daily (but not right before bedtime).
Limit the use of electronics before bed.
Relax before bedtime with a warm bath or by reading.
Avoid alcohol and stimulants such as caffeine late in the day.
Establish boundaries. The feeling of having too much to do can cause frustration, anxiety and stress. Some important ways to establish boundaries include:
Having clear priorities will help you figure out what you’re actually willing to spend your time and energy on.
Let people know what you will and will not tolerate. People will never know that what they’re doing is unacceptable if you never tell them.
Don’t feel like you need to say yes to avoid hurting someone’s feelings. You know the difference between being excited to do something and dreading it. Use that instinct to help you make decisions.
Think about the amount of time something will take compared to the amount of positive impact it will have. If it will take up more time than it’s worth, say no.
Make sure you spend time doing things that bring you joy and help you feel better about yourself.
If someone asks you to do something and you don’t think you’re the right person for the job, suggest someone else.
Don’t let people talk you into things you don’t want to do or out of things you want to do.
Be mindful. Mindfulness is about being completely aware of what’s happening in the present. It means not living your life on “autopilot.” To be more mindful:
Breathe in through your nose to a count of 4, hold for 1 second, and then exhale through the mouth to a count of 5. Repeat often.
Go for a walk, and notice your breath and the sights and sounds around you. If thoughts and worries enter your mind, note them but then return your focus to what you’re hearing and seeing around you.
Mindful eating is being aware of taste, textures and flavors in each bite.
Find mindfulness resources in your local community, including yoga and meditation classes, mindfulness-based stress-reduction programs, and books.
Accept yourself. We are usually our own harshest critic and set expectations for our life and behavior that we wouldn’t set for others. Everyone has self-judgment and self-doubt. Learning to accept yourself is a gateway to a happier, healthier life. Start accepting yourself by:
Surrounding yourself with positive affirmations and things that inspire you. When you feel insecure and doubt creeps into your thoughts, turn to one of your inspirations.
Let go of what you think perfection looks like. The pursuit of perfection can keep you from accomplishing your goals. Good can be good enough.
Make a conscious effort to stop assuming you know what people mean. If you’re not clear on the meaning of a specific comment, all you have to do is ask.
Forgive others for things they didn’t mean to do or didn’t know they did. Forgive yourself for mistakes you think you’ve made and if things don’t change quickly enough.
Believe that you can do anything because you can. You’ve already survived the worst thing you’ve experienced in your life.
Figure out what motivates you by celebrating something you are bad at. It’s in our failures, not our successes, that we learn the most about ourselves.
What are you doing to support your emotional wellness? Let us know - we would love to hear from you!
With love and light,