This month continues our Healing Your Holistic Self blog series. This time we are focusing on our emotional health and how to care for it to better cope with the stressors of life. Below you will find some tips and resources to manage your emotional health.
Tracking Your Emotions to Gain Insight
One of the first things I recommend to clients when we begin working together to increase self-awareness of emotions, moods, and behaviors is to track them. Tracking one’s emotional experiences can be done multiple ways such as in a journal, but an easy way in this technology age that works well for some is through apps specifically designed for mood tracking. Personally, I enjoy utilizing the Daylio app which is FREE. I can track my moods and the activities I engaged in each day. This can assist me in receiving insight into my emotional experience and how it impacts my moods and behaviors. The Daylio app will track the data over time and you can see patterns and connections between emotions, moods, and activities, as well as particular trends related to specific days and times. This can allow you to understand what changes you might want to make to improve your overall emotional experience. A couple other apps that I have heard good things about are the Pacifica app and the Youper app that both offer mental health support.
I know for some, switching to work and school at home has blurred the lines between work time and personal time. It can be helpful to create a routine and set a schedule for work tasks, homework, etc. and try your best to stick to it. Incorporating time off and breaks to attend to and care for your emotions is an important piece. I will admit that I have created a new ideal schedule multiple times since working more from home since March, but I try my best to make the adjustments as needed so I can keep my emotional health prioritized. It is a constant work in progress, but when we allot for and take breaks to focus on our emotional experiences, we can often fair better with our work, school, and obligatory tasks.
Self-compassion is a great skill to learn in order to manage and accept one’s emotions. Often our emotions can seem like they are taking over, and sometimes this leads us to feeling upset with ourselves, which can then cause more overwhelming emotions and the cycle continues. Self-compassion mixed with mindfulness honors one’s emotions and allows them to be a helpful versus hurtful. Dr. Kristin Neff is known as a leading expert in the field of self-compassion. Her website is filled with resources and tools on what self-compassion is, how to utilize and build your own, and the research behind it. Visit www.selfcompassion.org to learn more.
Engage in Hobbies
What do you love to do? What energizes you, and restores and balances your overall sense of self? Most of us have things we enjoy doing, but many of us also struggle to find the time to regularly engage in such activities. Self-care is about maintaining our health, including our emotional health, in order to experience overall wellbeing. When engaging in some activities that bring joy and vibrance to our lives, our emotional health can thrive. It is important to know that it is okay to take some time out of your day and week to do some things you love such as cooking, creating, being in nature, or whatever might personally improve your emotional health.
Talking to Someone
Talking and connecting with others can immensely help with our emotional health. The important piece here is finding someone that you feel safe talking to and feel open enough to share your emotional experience. Being alone in our emotional struggles can be very isolating and leave us feeling lonely, confused, overwhelmed, and even unsure of what we are feeling or experiencing emotionally. It can be important to receive validation and support from a friend, family member, coworker, mentor, teacher, or your therapist.
If you are unsure of who to talk to, but would like a place to safely share your emotional experience and work to build your support system, please reach out today to schedule your free phone consultation and see how our therapists can support you!
* Please note: C.H.E.R.I.I.S.H. Counseling LLC is not affiliated with any of the above referenced resources*