Emotional health isn't sexy. It isn't the thing that's mentioned in the captions of Instagram fitness transformation photos or in YouTube ads for online businesses that will help you build your own 7-figure business from the comfort of a beach towel. But it is an indispensable component of living a healthy, happy life.
Emotional health is having the ability to be aware of your varying emotions and know how to manage such emotions in a way that allows you to better cope with life. It's the equivalent to learning how to surf over the waves of your emotions opposed to doggie paddling through raucous sea currents.
And to be honest, being emotionally healthy isn't an exclusive invite to hang out on cloud nine for the rest of your mortal experience. Life will still knock you down. Having your emotional health in check will give you the strength to get up again and keep coasting through life's challenges without drowning with the uprising of every unpleasant emotion. I like to think of emotional health as the overlooked superpower that many of us can access with the right habits put in place. Below are a few of the lifestyle hacks I've used to up my emotional health game.
Create a safe space to vent your thoughts and feelings
Buy a journal, a nice pen and pour your soul into it on the daily. It feels so good to have a space reserved just for you, a space where there is no need to edit yourself or to fear your secrets being leaked. Releasing yourself onto these pages will help you digest your life and heighten your sense of self-awareness.
Make time to sit in stillness
Clear out some space in your schedule to sit or lay down, without any distractions and ground yourself in the inward outward sound of your breath. Thoughts will plague you, constant thought is a fact of being human, don't try to stop them from coming in--you'll only succeed in driving yourself crazy. Instead try watching them as they come and go and each time you get carried off, return to the sound of your breath. This is hard but worthwhile work. Even 5 minutes a day will help you become more of a watcher of your feelings rather than a reactor to them.
If possible, try to have a 5 minute check-in with yourself first thing in the morning, during your lunch break and at the end of the work day. Such a practice will help emotionally ground you throughout the course of the day.
Sleep is essentially the pillar of good mental and emotional health. If you want to feel good and be somewhat emotionally balanced throughout the day, make a point to get in bed at the same time every night and to sleep for as long as your body needs. If you need to wake up early, then get in bed at a time that allows you to get your beauty rest.
I like to get in bed 8.5-9 hours before I need to wake up to account for the time it takes to fall asleep. That being said, this doesn't always happen. Getting in bed by 10 each night is the hardest thing for me to do. I'm a bit of a night owl. Having a night time routine has helped me a lot with this. Every night I take a hot Epsom salt bath with essential oils, light some candles, write in my journal and read. This helps me to wind down, digest my day and get in bed at a decent time.