If you’ve been feeling down, stressed, and overwhelmed, it’s probably time to take some steps to reset your emotional health. These are ten practices we suggest to really boost your emotional wellness, and the key to it all is to start today, even with just one, to get yourself back on the track to feeling your best. Once you’ve gained some momentum, add a few more to your health arsenal and continue to make these practices a daily priority.
We’re not talking about sitting and chanting ancient words of wisdom with your legs folded at odd angles (although you can do that if you like!). We’re talking about taking a few minutes each day to focus on one thing – your breathing. The practice of quieting your mind and giving yourself permission to stop multi-tasking for a moment has numerous benefits, least of which is an improved, more calm approach as you go about your day. If you’re not sure where to start or exactly how to focus your mind, try this simple guide.
2. Do something you love
Whether it’s a nature walk, tennis, crafting, or a wild night out with friends, say “Yes!” to taking time for the things you love to do. A few hours away from the monotony of daily living can do wonders for your mood and there’s no better way to spend that time than exploring your passions.
3. Talk to someone you trust
Your mom, a sister, or a best friend who’s willing to listen to your complaints, worries, and secrets can often be the remedy to a rotten day. Sometimes all you need is to let it all out in order to start feeling better. Bonus: sometimes your most trusted confidant can give you great advice.
4. Spend time improving you relationship with your SO
It’s easy to lost sight of what’s important and feel distant from our significant others when going through the motions of life. Stop passing like two ships in the night and make an effort to really be together. Get a sitter and have a date night with one of these ideas. Take a walk after dinner. Wake up early to talk and watch the sun rise over a cup of coffee. Do things you love to do and remember why you chose each other in the first place. There’s nothing quite so reassuring and healthy as a solid relationship.
5. Say “no”
You heard me. School bake sale? No. Take a difficult client at the office? No. Cook dinner tonight? No. However crazy it sounds, you will be happier and healthier if you can adopt this practice and make yourself more of a priority. You don’t have to say “no” all the time, but if you really don’t want to do something, don’t!
6. Learn something new
It’s been proven time and time again – those who continue to learn and develop their minds are less likely to become depressed and more likely to avoid health problems like Dementia later in life. Take classes for something that interests you. Watch videos online to learn a new technique or skill. Read “how to” books. Travel! There’s a whole world of knowledge out there and people are more willing than ever to share it.
7. Write down your feelings
Even if you’re not much of a journal person, a small notebook or file on your computer can be the perfect outlet for your frustrations, hopes, disappointments, and deepest sorrows. Writing things down is like decluttering the mind. You can hold on to and remember the good things and purge yourself of the bad.
8. Ask for help
Sometimes life just gets overwhelming. There are too many things to do. Too many responsibilities. Too many sleepless nights. Too many voices trying to tell you what will make you happy, wealthy, smarter, and more amazing in every way… but never enough time. When you feel you have reached your limit, reach for someone who can help you. Ask a friend to drive the kids to school, ask Mom to help you clean your bathrooms, or ask a coworker to take a little more of the workload for a few days. Swallow your pride, if that’s what it takes, and ask for help.
9. Get rid of clutter
Even science tells us that clutter can be our mind’s worst enemy. Depression and stress can be brought on or made worse if your car, home, or workspace fall victim to disorganization. Take some time to declutter. Get rid of things you don’t use, don’t wear, don’t love, or don’t want. Organize what’s left using a few tips like these and you’ll be on your way to total emotional wellness.
10. Take care of yourself
All the emotional wellness practices in the world won’t make a difference if you aren’t taking care of yourself physically. Simple daily exercise, smart eating, regular doctor visits, and getting yourself dressed and ready each day are great ways to boost your mood from the outside in.
Kayla Lilly is a photographer, writer, wife, and mama making a house a home in eastern Idaho. She met her mister while working at an amusement park and married him a year later after deciding there was no way to live without him. The amusement has continued as they’ve added three kids and a passel of pets to their lives while finishing college and starting a photography business. Drawing inspiration from the whirlwinds of marriage, parenthood, and the media, Kayla blogs at Utterly Inexperienced, and spends the rest of her time chasing chickens, organizing junk drawers, diapering toddlers, and photographing everyone willing to step in front of her lens.
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