In this two part well-being series, I’ll share tips that I’ve discovered help to maximize emotional and physical well-being by navigating the demands on our precious time and simultaneously learning how to implement small changes that can lead to sustainable results.
My journey to re-discovering the importance of personal well-being started after the birth of my second daughter. At 26 weeks pregnant I’d broken my ankle in 3 places, so what started out as the ideal of being an awesome active pregnancy, came to a screeching halt, leaving me on bed rest for the majority of the remainder of the pregnancy. Learning how to find my way back to myself from this moment in time has taken almost 3 years, and I am still a work in progress. From navigating my physical changes, healing through traumatic injury and the unexpected post-partum depression, if anyone is going through similar feelings of losing oneself in the midst of what feels like defeat, you are not alone! I hope these quick tips will be a beacon of hope to start your journey, wherever you are, to coming back to the best version of you!
7 tips to Increase Emotional Wellbeing
- Don’t let a stressful moment ruin the potential of the day | It is challenging at times to distract our thoughts from reexamining stressful situations over and over. Allowing those thoughts to stay too long robs the potential joy gained from experiences in other moments. Give yourself permission to feel your feelings, allow no more than 5 minutes to ponder, discuss and seek out a solution, but also give yourself permission to stop thinking about it and move on to the next task at hand, only revisiting it later if absolutely necessary.
- Meditation | Mindful breathing can help reset our natural fight or flight stress response and offer relief in calming anxiety, improving circulation and increasing energy. Try seeking out a meditation or calming song on YouTube or downloading a breathing app such as ‘calm’ that helps you count your breath and utilize this tool whenever you find your in need to be reminded to stop and breath. A simple routine of inhaling for 4 seconds, holding for 4 seconds, and exhaling for 4 seconds during the course of a minute can be immediately beneficial.
- Schedule It | You schedule everything for everyone else right? Start scheduling for you! Be your own secretary and start adding time to the calendar for yourself. That could merely be an alarm on your phone labeled ‘Breath’ or ‘get your steps in’, taking a longer shower using indulgent cleansers or a scheduling salon appointments. Find things you enjoy doing and carve out the time to make it happen, if its 5 minutes or 50 minutes, take the time to give yourself a recharge moment.
- You Time | if you are not able to schedule and keep your appointment to yourself, look for alternatives. Maybe it is listening to an audio book in the car after dropping the kids off, or while you are waiting at a stop light you shift focus to repeating a positive mantra for your day. My personal mantra is ‘I create my own path and walk it with joy.’ The key is to not let yourself get so bogged down by NOT having time to yourself, somedays it just isn’t in the cards and that is OK. But finding small moments is a win and considerably benefiting to our mental health no matter how small.
- Tribe | Find your tribe. Whether it is family or your best friend, find people you can connect with, laugh with, cry with, bounce ideas around with and reciprocate. As adults it is hard to find and make real friendship connections so starting small, maybe it’s connecting with a social media group of likeminded interests. It could even mean connecting with a therapist, removing the stigma, having an unbiased person giving you undivided attention to off-load your thoughts and lending tools to navigate emotions can be truly liberating and insightful lending new perspectives to any given situation or just to talk and feel heard is a game changer!
- Brain dumping | Something I have found that really helps turn my busy mind ‘off’, is at the end of the night writing down every thought I am having. It can be in the form of journaling, a list or bullet points. Mine is most often a ‘to do’ list for the next day, even if it is literally writing down, wake up, get dressed, pack lunch … it is the miniscule things you do on routine that you know you won’t forget to the big things that may be stressing you out like the deadline at work, or a new extracurricular routine for the kids. Somehow just the knowing that it is written down and off my mind helps me fall asleep easier.
- Practice Gratitude | Whenever there is a low-spirited feeling looming in the corner of my mind I try to not let it get out of control by remember this tip. To practice gratitude on the fly, I simply look around the space I am in and name 5 things I am grateful for. It could be the shoes on my feet, the picture on my desk reminding me of a sunny summer day playing with my kids etc… Shifting our brains to seek out the positive externally verses giving power to the negative internally I have found can help 9 times out of 10.
Stay tuned for part two; 7 tips for Improving Your Physical Well-Being!