Emotional Wellness: Seeking Balance & Purpose

Feb 10, 2021

 by Rebecca Rose

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: 

  • Practice Self Compassion: Stop putting yourself down and avoid people who put you down. Lower the expectations you place upon yourself and realize that being superhuman is not possible. 
  • Get out in Nature & Practicing Movement: Grounding within nature or practicing movement both have the effect of improving your mood, releasing feel good hormones like seretonin and other endorphins that counteract stress, cortisol and anxiety. Nature has also been shown to release positive ions which increases our bodies ability to fight off stress. Plus you get to disconnect and enjoy the peace and quiet of a slower pace for a few moments! 
  • Connect with others: Humans are wired to connect. Having a sense of community and a support network to tap into goes a long way towards good mental health. It fosters a sense of belonging and reduces loneliness, which in the current COVID culture is happening more than we would like. Whether it's in person or via ZOOM, talking things out with people can help (even a therapist!). Volunteering to help others is a great way to foster a sense of purpose and helping others that can really benefit your own well-being too. 
  • Be Mindful: Practice meditative movement like Yoga, grounding techniques like being in nature, and breathing practices to allow the body and mind to slow down, smell the roses and bring your into awareness of what is happening in the here and now instead of worrying about the future or dwelling on the past
  • Make the glass half full: Forgive yourself for mistakes, try to pick out the good things that happen throughout the day instead of focusing on the negative, deal with the negative and then release it instead of dwelling or holding grudges, and surround yourself with positive people. 
  • Stress Management: Make self care a priority, practice good physical care like eating well, good sleep and regular exercise
  • Learn Healthy Coping Mechanisms: Make self care and physical wellness non-negotiable, take vacation or mental health days, allow yourself time and space to work through things by not over-committing to others or being over-scheduled, and be gentle with yourself by practicing self-compassion. 
  • Slow Down!: Ever heard the phrase "We need to slow down to speed up?" Disconnecting from technology, making time and space for relaxing or hobbies or other things that recharge our batteries is crucial to our emotional wellness. Resilience comes from our capacity to take challenges and work through them. Without the time or space to do so we make quick decisions that are not always well thought out, not to mention a reflection of the exhaustion we are feeling from being on the proverbial hamster wheel all of the time. Getting off that wheel and slowing down - eating, working, being... supports our capacity to take in these challenges and create innovative and mindful approaches to responding to them. A prime example is being able to think before you speak instead of just rhyming off the automatic responses we have trained ourselves to use. 


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?