Emotional Wellness: Seeking Balance & Purpose
Emotional Wellness. When we read the words we automatically think of times where we are brought to extremes of emotion and how we handle ourselves. Emotional Wellness sounds simple enough, but let's take a deeper look at what it really means and how we can work towards it in healthy ways. By definition it's about having an awareness, understanding and acceptance of our emotions and the ability to manage them through challenges and changes. So let's examine this in the context of the COVID pandemic of the last year. What seems to be very much an event that is wreaking havoc with our physical and mental health, if we look closer you will see it's taking a massive toll on our emotional health as well:
- Coping with the loss of loved ones to the virus or other issues related to the virus
- Coping with losing jobs, homes, businesses and other needs within our foundational support structures
- Adjusting to working remotely for ourselves, partners, children and families where new routines must be established and we are no longer getting quiet time alone to just be.
- Constant negativity from media, people and more regarding the virus, politics, and other things that have been impacted over the last year
- Having to find new routines and ways of physical and spiritual fitness as a result of lockdowns and capacity limitations... our coping mechanisms are being compromised
- not being able to gather and having to do so via telecommunications with loved ones or friends means a challenged support network for everyone
- Sleep habits and patterns have shifted
These are just a few of the obvious ways life has changed for us in the last year, and not something that we planned for or anticipated. We are collectively feeling worn out, drained, and like we either can't keep up or are at the end of our ropes. So what can we do? Emotional wellness is very often overlooked and something that is not given nearly enough attention in our fast paced, corporate and consumer driven society. Our emotional health centers around our ability to manage and reduce stress, our adaptability and resilience. And there are ways to enhance and support these things so that when challenges arise we are ready and able to navigate them in ways that honour a sense of balance and purpose in our lives. How? How do we strengthen the emotional muscles so that we can deal with whatever comes our way? Here are a few ways you can do this (and yes, you might see some repetition with other areas of wellness here):
Some of the ways you can work to improve your Emotional Health & Wellness:
When you are feeling Emotionally Healthy you will easily experience gratitude, compassion and generosity towards others. It fosters a sense of community and support through giving and receiving. You will feel happier with who you are and have a sense of purpose in the world. You will be flexible and open minded, adapting more easily to changes as they arise instead of feeling frustrated and overwhelmed. It will lend itself to healthier communication, relationships, more productive work habits, a sense of purpose to your life and place in the world, and also keep you in a better state of balance so that you can navigate stressors without succumbing to burnout and apathy. So, knowing all of this, what is the first step you will take to take care of your emotional health and wellness?