There is a balance between mental, emotional, physical and spiritual wellbeing that will be reflected when tending to all components. So let’s start with talking about mental and emotional wellbeing. What is it exactly, how does it affect your overall wellbeing, and what can you do to reduce stress and the depression that is associated?
What is mental and emotional wellbeing? It means recognizing when you are stressed out and how it is impacting you. Perhaps you are overworked and/or burnt out and you are noticing yourself using bad eating habits, waking up exhausted, overthinking things, getting more sensitive to other people’s language, getting short or snippy with others, physically feeling stiff, mentally fatigued, becoming forgetful, not exercising as much or at all, wanting to hibernate or isolate, noticing an increase of anxiety/depression, avoiding doing or dealing with certain things/people, etc.
The list could go on, but the point is that you are noticing yourself having an increase of drain and unhealthy, unhelpful coping. Maybe you know exactly why you are stressed, or maybe it was just slowly building up over time, or maybe only your loved ones noticed and mentioned it to you.
How does this affect your overall wellbeing? Since mental and emotional health will trickle into all areas of life, it will usually cause an in-balance with self-care, your relationships and career can suffer also.
How to reduce stress? Exercising, eating well, staying hydrated, getting rest (even taking a vacation or day off) and doing different types of self-care things from big to small. For example, essential oils are a great way to balance energy and emotions. Yes, this is an alternative therapy but there are studies to suggest that it helps. So, what do you think? Still not convinced in the affect and value of self-care for mental/emotional wellbeing and depression? Well, read below for ideas and tips.
Tips on Self-Care for Mental & Emotional Stress
1- Give yourself a break. You are human and things in life come on unexpectedly at times. Stress levels will flex. There will be times when you are on top of it all and times when you are overwhelmed. It’s ok to adjust yourself to these different times.
2- Taking care of yourself is the number one priority. That means that if there is a lot going on.. you may need to step back and re-evaluate how to handle all things in your life differently at this time.
3- Set boundaries for yourself. That may mean saying no to a job, or a project, a get- together or helping someone you care about. You can’t effectively and healthily help others if you are burnt out and/or giving too much of yourself. It’s ok to say no if need be, or find a compromise.
4- Be willing to compromise with yourself. If you are overwhelmed or overworked… recognize the limitations you are running into. Be honest with yourself about them. Within that, you will gain the power and inner wisdom to know how to adjust things accordingly.
5- Recognize that changing your mind isn’t a sign of weakness. It takes guts to acknowledge where you are mentally or emotionally and put that at the front of the decision- making. You will ultimately be helping yourself and others.
6- Don’t fear change. Change gives us an opportunity for growth and gained knowledge. Staying comfortable can sometimes keep you stuck. Fear is the worry of something that may happen and there are so many other options that could happen also. Give yourself a chance.
7- Get professional supported when needed. There is nothing wrong with needing or wanting support from professionals. There are times when things get so difficult that even talking to friends or taking time to yourself isn’t enough. Professional therapists are trained to help support people in times of distress that vary from everyday stressors, life-changing issues, relationship issues, other personal struggles, to serious mental illness.
Here is a list of some great self-help books for dealing with mental and emotional stress: http://www.amazon.com/shop/selfcareemporium