Even if you don’t DO it, you know what you’re SUPPOSED to do to take care of your body. But what are you supposed to do to take care of your feelings, your emotions? Here are some ideas that can help you boost your emotional health, especially if you’re going through some challenges right now:
When you’re dealing with something hard, uncertainty about how it’s all going to turn out can be as bad as whatever you’re going through. What will happen? What will the future look like? What timeframes, limitations and life changes should you expect? Good communication can help you figure out what’s going on. How? When you have information, share it. When there truly is uncertainty, expressing how difficult this can let your support team know you need help. Direct communication can be difficult! If you need help communicating your needs, hopes, and fears, consider expressing your emotions in a journal as a way to practice sharing these feelings with people you trust.
- Commitment, Control and Challenge
Commitment means sticking with what you are feeling or experiencing and then working through it, rather than trying to distance yourself from it. Control means continuing to try to influence outcomes. We may not be able to control everything, but there are plenty of things we can control along the way: how we respond, how we take care of ourselves, what attitude we adopt. Challenge means viewing the situation as an opportunity for learning. This is the hardest part! But training our attention to notice the good things in the midst of a storm can do wonders for our emotional health.
- Get Help
Most people wouldn’t close their own stitches and, likewise, there may be parts of your emotional health that you can’t handle on your own. Just like you use a medical doctor to support your physical health, it may be worth looking into working with a psychologist, counselor, social worker or other mental health professionals to support your emotional health. You probably have enough on your plate right now without making yourself solely responsible for the emotional wellbeing of yourself and everyone around you. If you find yourself struggling, understand that feeling overwhelmed is normal. There are people who can help you. Consider working with a professional who is trained to support your emotional health.