Take Good Care of Your Emotional Health
Sometimes it takes a major event—a relationship ended, the death of a dear one, a financial disaster—to gather yourself and take stock of your life. Most people recovering from a setback find that they have to watch their physical health to make sure they don’t get rundown. But your physical health is also connected to your emotional health—the two are inextricably related. So yes, be sure to eat right, exercise, get enough sleep. But also make sure your mental health is robust. And how do you do that?
Our lives moves so fast they sometimes seem out of control. In order to assess your emotional life, you need to slow down and take time to get comfortable in your own skin. Give yourself time to read a novel, take a yoga class, practice meditation. Take up journaling, or just write about how you feel. Some people feel renewed by getting out in nature, taking a walk in the woods or a beautiful garden. Perhaps a luxurious bath—replete with bubbles, candles and aromatherapy—will help you. The point is to take time out of your everyday routine so you can hear yourself think.
Be Gentle with Yourself.
Sometimes it’s easier to be kinder to others than to yourself. Remember, you deserve to be treated well, to be forgiven, and to be loved, just like everyone else. Give yourself an emotional break. Sometimes that means mustering the strength to say no to someone else so you can have more time for yourself. To do the things you need to do for yourself. Affirmations help. Resolve to take positive action, to live a purposeful life, to have a good attitude. And count your blessings—remember all the things you are grateful for. The important thing is to appreciate yourself and embrace what’s going on in your life.
Spending time with people who love and care about you is just as important to your mental health as an annual checkup is to your physical health. People with strong social and community ties are healthier than loners. But building positive relationships is a tricky thing. It takes work, patience and time. Ultimately, you want to spend your time with people who take you and your feelings seriously. Who you’re comfortable with and can talk to easily. Who make you feel good about yourself. Often it helps to seek out groups with like-minded interests. Take that painting class you’ve always wanted to take, or join that hiking group. Find a volunteer opportunity that matches your interests. Connect with individuals and connect with your community. It takes some initiative, but the rewards are great.
Just do something you think would be fun. Think about what you’d like to do with your spare time. Not something that has to result in a positive outcome—just something that’s fun. What did you love to do as a kid? Twirl around on the grass? Maybe a dance class is for you. Make mud pies? Take up making pottery. Identify what you love—or remember what you used to love. Seek out ways to laugh. Watch a funny movie. Listen to a comedy podcast. Better yet, do it with friends. Laughing and having fun are good for you.
Nancy Travers is an Orange County Counseling professional. If you need safe, effective counseling services, please get in touch. You can reach her here: http://www.nancyscounselingcorner.com/contact-us.