Health & Wellness Wellness Wednesday

Taking care of your Emotional Health

July 11, 2018
8 Simple Ways to Take care of your Emotional Health

There is so much emphasis on our physical health and well-being but our emotional and spiritual health is also important.  The focus for this month’s Wellness Wednesday prompt is our Emotional Health and I will be sharing some simple ways you can start taking care of your EH today.

What do we mean by Emotional Health?

Sometimes we make life harder than it needs to be. Part of having good mental or emotional health is to ensure that you keep the pressure off and decrease the amount of anxiety and stress.  Many of us wear the badge of ‘busyness’ with honour, we feel we need to justify ourselves by filling our days and social calendars. I’ve been guilty of that – feeling that I need to be busy all the time. BUT constantly putting pressure on ourselves, physically and mentally eventually takes it’s toll.  We ‘burn out’, we can even become ill.

8 Simple Ways to Take care of your Emotional Health

1. Move Well, Eat Well, Sleep Well

Serotonin, a neurotransmitter, helps regulate your mood naturally and is known as the ‘happy chemical’. When your serotonin levels are normal, you feel happier and calmer.  Low levels of serotonin in the brain has been scientifically linked to anxiety and insomnia.  We can increase serotonin naturally by physical activity and eating well.

A daily walk or whatever form of movement you enjoy, is not only good for keeping our bodies strong and healthy but does wonders for our emotional health.  Regular physical activity is proven to release endorphins which can trigger positive feelings.  Your mood is lifted and you feel more ‘alive’.

Eating a well balanced diet and variety of foods to increase serotonin include eggs, cheese, turkey, nuts, salmon, tofu, and pineapple.

Sleep is also important and as we age we find it more difficult to get a quality night’s sleep.  Increasing our levels of serotonin and creating a calming daily ritual before bed can help with insomnia.

2. Quiet time and disconnecting

Whilst we need regular activity, we also need ‘quiet time’ to restore our body and mind.  Taking time for reflection or meditation, a long soak in the bath or just curling up with a good book allows our mind to relax.  Taking time to concentrate on slowly breathing in and out helps clear the mind. Taking time to disconnect from social media and technology – try it for a day and you will notice the difference!

3. Social connection

Staying socially connected is vital, especially if we are retired and don’t have the same interaction as we did when we were working.  Catching up for coffee with a friend, enjoying time with family or even our virtual friends helps us to avoid loneliness and isolation.

4. Play

Play is something we forget about as we become adults.  Life becomes full of responsibilities and we forget how to have fun. However, playtime is just as important now as it was when we were children. Doing something ‘fun’ releases tension and allows us to find joy. Spending time with my grandson has taught me how to play again and enjoy the moment.

5. Explore

In her book, ‘The Artist’s Way’, Julia Cameron suggests taking ourselves on an ‘Artist’s Date’.  This means planning a weekly activity or visit on your own to explore new places or experiences.

6. Gratitude

I have written often about the importance of gratitude in helping us stay positive in life.  I’ve also written about ‘Gratitude Walking’ which combines going for a walk whilst reflecting on what you are grateful for.  Some of us journal, some start and end the day thinking grateful thoughts, others give thanks in other daily rituals.  Gratitude is a word that can be overused but it is vital to our emotional well being.

7. Learning to say ‘No’ and setting your boundaries

This is the hardest thing to do.  I know that I will probably be a work-in-progress with saying ‘No’.  Many of us feel we need to always be there for others, even to the detriment of ourselves.  Learning to say ‘No’ is not selfish.  We cannot be there for everyone all of the time.  Remember ‘you can’t pour from an empty cup’.

8. Self-Investment

Investing in our emotional health and well-being is a valuable investment.  You are worth it – aren’t you? Of course, you are! Taking a long relaxing bath, having your hair or nails done or doing something just for yourself will increase your self-love and and happiness.

 

What are some ways you could improve your Emotional health today?  Do you have any tips you could add to my list?

 

8 Simple Ways to Take care of your Emotional Health

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30 Comments

  • Reply Karen Hume July 11, 2018 at 06:25

    Hi Sue,
    All of the emotional health suggestions you offer are good ones… and I’m working them all! There are moments when I think there should be a ninth item on the list, namely “Don’t try to do everything, even good everythings, all at once. Focus and go deep on one at a time.”
    But 95% of the time, I’m happy playing in this big field of possibilities for enhanced emotional health.
    Karen

    • Reply Sue Loncaric July 12, 2018 at 06:46

      Hi Karen, I do need to practice more of what I preach sometimes. I agree about not trying to do everything (even good things) all at once, however, it is hard to change a habit of over 50 years LOL:) We will get there though. Have a beautiful day my friend and take care xx

  • Reply cathi July 11, 2018 at 07:09

    To maintain emotional health, I work hard at listening to what others say, but then do what feels right for ME. Holding onto the “ME” in myself and appreciating it, without putting myself down, has always been challenging. At this time in my life, I try to listen to my soul talking and follow what it’s telling me.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric July 12, 2018 at 06:50

      Hi Cathi, you are so right about doing what feels right for yourself. Most times we try to please others to the detriment of our own well being. You certainly have the right attitude and I’m inspired by your comment. Have a great week! 🙂

  • Reply Leanne @ Deep Fried Fruit July 11, 2018 at 07:31

    Gratitude, gratitude, gratitude. The key to happiness. Gratitude. My number one tip. even those with nothing can find joy when embracing the gift of gratitude.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric July 12, 2018 at 06:53

      That is so true Leanne. You can find joy in life if you just take a moment to see all of the positives in life. Gratitude should never be underestimated. Have a beautiful day, Leanne xx

  • Reply Janet Mary Cobb July 11, 2018 at 21:45

    #3 is the tip that reminds me of my opportunity for growth. Being self-employed and having just a small handful of folks I’d call anything close to a friend makes staying social tough. I’ve found at least being out around people is helpful even if we aren’t engaging. Perhaps like the early childhood concept of playing next to one another rather than with one another.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric July 12, 2018 at 07:54

      Hi Janet, I only have three close friends but that is enough for me – quality not quantity is important. I also like my ‘alone time’ but it is important to stay connected with others even if on-line. Enjoy your week, Janet and thanks for stopping by to comment 🙂

  • Reply Lori Jo July 11, 2018 at 23:54

    I really enjoyed this post, Sue. I found myself in the “busyness” trap and it was exhausting, which was the basis for starting my blog. Expressing my creative mental energy through my blog has really helped. But, even with that, I started going into the trap again, doing it as a “job” instead of an enjoyable outlet. This is just my third month into blogging, so switching gears and cutting back to two days per week with a random third day thrown in here and there is already feeling better. Breathing space and balance becomes more important as life goes on, at least for me it does. Thank you for another timely post, talk soon! 😀

    Lori Jo -50 With Flair
    http://www.50withflair.com

    • Reply Sue Loncaric July 12, 2018 at 07:57

      Yes, Lori Jo it is so easy to fall into the ‘busyness trap’ and it has taken me quite some time to let that go. I think you have experienced what all first time bloggers do -feeling that we have to be posting every day etc. It can certainly take over our lives and burn us out. I’m glad that you are finding some balance and know that you will definitely enjoy blogging more now that you have taken the pressure off. Have a great week and talk soon! 🙂 xx

  • Reply Heather Erickson July 12, 2018 at 01:18

    Great post, Sue! It illustrates, beautifully, the importance of balance. I’m quite introverted and left to my own devices, I might never leave the house. But that wouldn’t be good for my emotional health in the long run. So getting that social interaction is so important. It’s a little like exercise. You might not think it feels good until after you give it a go. Have a great week!

    • Reply Sue Loncaric July 12, 2018 at 08:00

      Hi Heather, I sometimes crave staying at home but if I make the effort to socialise I feel much better and more positive. You have a great week also and thanks for stopping by to comment. Enjoy! 🙂

  • Reply Natalie July 12, 2018 at 10:20

    Hi Sue – All excellent tips and I’m working them all. So glad to connect with you on this wellness journey. Have a great week!

    • Reply Sue Loncaric July 13, 2018 at 06:04

      Hi Natalie, I love the idea of writing a monthly post for Wellness Wednesday. I hope we continue it next year. 🙂

  • Reply Suzy July 12, 2018 at 20:51

    Totally agree. Quiet time and disonnecting is so important I try to do that each night. Good post.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric July 13, 2018 at 06:14

      That is a good time of the day to disconnect, Suzy as we prepare for sleep. We all need that quiet time to slow down and just ‘be’. Thanks for stopping by to comment and have a beautiful day 🙂

  • Reply Andrew Restrepo July 12, 2018 at 21:18

    This was an excellent list! Thanks for writing it

    • Reply Sue Loncaric July 13, 2018 at 06:14

      Thanks Andrew, so pleased you found it of value. 🙂

  • Reply Leanne | www.crestingthehill.com.au July 12, 2018 at 21:36

    These are all great suggestions Sue. Seratonin is so important for a healthy brain and low levels wreak havoc with sleep and keeping our mood positive. Exercise plays a big part in keeping things going on so many levels – and as nice as it would be to sit around all day blogging, reading and napping (all favourite pastimes of mine!) it’s vital to get out in the sunshine and to get moving.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric July 13, 2018 at 06:15

      I feel so much better after I’ve been out and about even if the sun isn’t shining (although that makes you feel even better). Just being away from the computer, moving about and taking in your surroundings certainly brings our minds to a better place. 🙂

  • Reply Jodie July 14, 2018 at 23:07

    Playing….that’s such a great thought. My word for the year was FUN because I tend to take things too seriously. And life is too short for that!!
    XOXO
    Jodie
    http://www.jtouchofstyle.com

  • Reply Pat July 15, 2018 at 02:51

    Sue, I missed this post in the craziness of being out of town. I’ve been focused on emotional health quite a bit this past couple of years. For me, it’s about trying to practice positivity! Being aware of my emotions and really clarifying what I’m feeling is part of it. Building in little Jolts of Joy into daily living… like the fact I’m sitting on my porch right now, listening to bird song in the background. Having an attitude of gratitude. I’ve been so blessed with abundance in so many parts of my life. Connecting with others regularly- whether on line or IRL. And trying to be kinder…whether it’s a smile & a thank you at the store or a text to say I’m thinking of you. I’ve never put exploration and play into this mix for emotional health… an interesting thought!

  • Reply leslie roberts clingan July 16, 2018 at 09:08

    You say it all so well. I like the word and idea of play. Did some of that with my sister during her visit. She always makes me laugh. I am enjoying Cameron’s book and need to finish reading it and one I started on balance. Hoping that by setting more strict boundaries on my phone, and online time, I can get to feeling better.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric July 16, 2018 at 12:59

      Hi Leslie, yes play is very important and my grandson reminds me of that all the time. On Saturday, we went to play in the snow. No, we don’t get snow in Brisbane but they set up a small snow field at Southbank so we could build snowmen and throw snowballs and toboggan – such fun.

  • Reply Marion Boyer July 17, 2018 at 22:41

    You have to keep your emotional health in good condition in order to improve your overall health. Emotional health is a significant constituent of life. This is what gives the person permission to realize his highest potential. A number of ways are there following which a person can maintain a good emotional health. I would like to reveal those ways in the following.
    1)Be conscious of the emotions and responses.
    2)Manage stress properly- https://www.reginafasold.com/blog/managing-stress-in-healthy-ways/ .
    3)Express the sentiments in affirmative ways.
    4)Unearth the cause of your existence and follow your passion.

    • Reply Sue Loncaric July 19, 2018 at 16:02

      Hello Marion and thank you for taking the time to leave your thoughts. You make 4 excellent points regarding maintaining good emotion health. Have a beautiful day and thanks for stopping by x

  • Reply Annette July 22, 2018 at 01:44

    Dearest Sue.
    Love your suggestions – we all know about them, but we forget often. I need to slow down more – when you have your own business in top of other employments, there are always something on the to-do-list.
    I hope you are doing well. Thinking of you.
    xxx Annette

    • Reply Sue Loncaric July 23, 2018 at 08:27

      Hello my dear Annette and it has been too long since we have chatted. You are busy with your business and hope you are well. Let’s chat more. xx Sue

  • Reply Grammy Dee | Grammy's Grid July 25, 2018 at 08:55

    All good tips Sue ♥

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