How Emotional Wellness Can Help with Your Life Balance
We all know that our emotional wellbeing can influence how we think, feel and behave in our day to day life. It can also affect our aptitude to manage stress and adapt to change, build relationships and to take charge of our work-life balance.
Looking after your emotional wellbeing doesn’t necessarily always mean you’re feeling 100% all the time. Instead, it’s about nurturing the right skills and resources to stay equipped to manage life’s inevitable ups and downs.
Every day we make choices, and sometimes we make the wrong choices. However, it is important to remember that every day is also full of chances to let go and reach acceptance with difficult situations. It doesn’t have to be a grand gesture. Something as simple as forgiveness, and forgiving yourself, can often lighten your load.
The best ways to help understand what exactly is causing you distress and fear is through visualisation and journaling.
- When you feel the familiar sense of dread creeping in, grab yourself some pen and paper and close your eyes.
- Spend around a minute visualising the next week or so ahead and think about your priorities. Use this time to think in a safe and calm environment about what exactly needs to be done and for when.
- Then spend about a minute focusing on the positives ahead. Maybe you have some fun plans for the weekend? Or you’re going to start watching that boxset you keep meaning to get around to?
- Once you’ve given equal thought to both, it’s time to get writing. Set a timer for no more than two minutes and start jotting down anything you feel is useful to note, it can be positive or negative.
This exercise is a great tool for encouraging self-acceptance anytime, anywhere, whilst also being a useful activity to ensure you have work and life balance. You can repeat this process as many times as you find it useful, and hopefully you’ll start feeling a little more clarity and control over your stress.
It’s easy to get so caught up in your own negative thoughts that you lose touch with all the things you have in life to be grateful for. Journaling comes in several forms and is a great tool to use to understand your own emotional wellbeing. Your thoughts can often affect your actions and harnessing the power of gratitude and positive thinking can help you live your best life.
The simple practise of reflecting on what you’re grateful for can help guide you towards a happier and more content life. You’ll gain a better understanding of yourself in the process, and a fresh perspective that will guide you to see blessings in disguise.
Every night, jot down a few bullet points under the following headlines -
- Things to be grateful for today – Look at the events of the day and list out all the things you can be grateful for.
- Things to be thankful for – Long term things in life that you can say ‘I am thankful for’.
Self-esteem and Self confidence
We have all experienced moments in our lives when we have a lack of confidence and do not feel good about ourselves. But when low self-esteem becomes a more permanent problem, it can have a harmful effect on our emotional wellbeing. During these periods we tend to see things in a more negative and critical light, feeling less able to take on the challenges that life throws at us. When these negative emotions do come up and you find yourself being self-critical, try thinking about what you would say to a friend in a similar situation. Be kind to yourself, remember all you have achieved.
Here are some simple techniques that may help restore some self-esteem and confidence:
- Acknowledge what you are good at
- Build on positive relationships
- Learn to be resilient and more assertive
- Give yourself a challenge
People often overlook the importance of self-care, seeing it as indulgent, or a pass time for those with plenty of free time. However, one of the best things you can do for yourself is taking care of number one. If you are exhausted and overwhelmed, it will be even more difficult to be there for friends and family. Work or life stress means we often feel the need to work late, or have a hard time switching off in the evening, particularly when so many of us are now working from home, overworking ourselves isn’t helpful and is ultimately unproductive.
- Practice mindfulness – through breathing exercises, or meditation (we’d recommend having a quick browse on YouTube for some guided routines)
- Finally sitting down with a glass of something and watching that show you’ve been meaning to see.
- Locking the door and running yourself a big bubble bath.
Now more than ever before we are living busy, stressful lives and therefore negative situations can regularly occur, making it difficult to be optimistic 24/7. Carving out specific time to consciously support your emotional wellbeing can give you a sense of purpose, whilst also leaving you feeling good. This could be achieved through taking the time to connect with friends or family, engaging in positive thoughts through practising mindfulness or perhaps simply just listening to your favourite playlist. Boosting your mood and staying positive isn’t about making big changes, it’s often the smaller things that can make all the difference. Hush your inner critic and make room for positive thoughts. Surround yourself with a support system that uplifts and comforts, listens and guides. Never feel inadequate for being yourself.
Move your body
It may seem obvious but staying active is one of the best things you can do for your emotional wellbeing, to feel more energised and more motivated. When we feel emotionally strong, we are more likely to feel energised and when we make the time to exercise, we often feel a positive impact on our mood as our body releases feel good chemicals called endorphins. Exercise also boosts the production of serotonin, known as the happy hormone. But sometimes the obligation to exercise can be the cause of stress and dread. That’s why it’s so important to find something that you truly enjoy, so that it doesn’t feel like another task to add to the to-do list. The most important thing is to find something you enjoy that isn’t going to overwhelm you, but that will help you take care of yourself.
Talk to people
When our days are jam packed, checking in with family and friends can quickly slip off our list of priorities. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by various commitments, meaning that we don’t end up enjoying our time spent with loved ones as much as we should. But having a support network during times of need is vital for your own wellbeing and to ensure you yourself have a good sense of emotional awareness for others. Indeed, by having an awareness of how those closest to us are feeling, we ensure that we too can be the support needed by others. Technology has enabled us to feel like we’re always in touch with each other, however seeing someone’s Instagram stories cannot be compared to speaking with someone face to face or over the phone. Spending regular time with your loved ones is important for many reasons – it’s enjoyable, refreshing and can help maintain happiness. But catching up doesn’t always have to mean sitting down for a chat. Why not make it more interactive, by starting a book club with some friends? Or set aside a few hours at the weekend to try something new to bake with the kids?
If you’re consistently feeling a little overwhelmed, don’t be afraid to ask a partner or a friend to help out, be that through sharing your tasks, or simply having the children for a few hours so you can enjoy some down-time. If, however you feel your emotional wellbeing might need some professional help, there are a plethora of resources out there to help! Do not suffer in silence, help is out there.