October is National Emotional Wellness Month!
Last month at SC Thrive’s team meeting, we learned about emotional intelligence and how our personal emotional health affects those around us. This session had us thinking about how emotionally healthy we are and what we can do to increase our emotional health. Check out these 12 ways we’re fostering emotional wellness this month and pick one or two to try yourself!
1. Gratitude Journaling: Gratitude journaling can help you refocus on things for which you are thankful. Sometimes, we can get so caught up in everything that is wrong or stressful that we don’t recognize the good things in our lives. Get a special notebook, or even keep a note on your phone listing something you’re grateful for every day!
2. Take Time to Reflect: Making time to reflect and process your emotions is an important part of emotional wellness. Name your emotions with a feelings wheel and think about why you’re feeling that way. Over time, you can find patterns and recognize quickly if you’re heading towards emotional unhealth.
3. Read a Book: Whether it’s a self-care book or an old novel you loved as a child, spend time reading. Self-care books can help increase your emotional intelligence and self-awareness. Reading your favorite book or a new book could be self-care for you.
4. Be Encouraged: Surround yourself with people and reminders to pursue emotional wellness. Find people who encourage you to process your emotions in healthy ways. Put up signs or sticky notes with quotes that encourage you. Place a quote on the mirror where you brush your teeth that you can read twice a day!
5. Spend Time Alone: It can be nice to get away from the chaos around us. Time alone can be crucial to emotional wellness, especially for those who are introverted. If you need time alone, make sure you take that time. Even if you wake up early for 15 minutes to yourself, time alone can be the self-care you need!
6. Take a Quiet Bath: Light your favorite candle, pour some sparkling water into a fancy cup, and turn on a warm, quiet bath. Baths are not only calming and emotionally beneficial, but they also benefit the body physically. Spending time in water either leisurely or recreationally is a great way to enhance your emotional wellness.
7. Bake for Others: Taking the time to bake something for someone in your life will foster emotional wellness in you and the other person. Baking can be a self-care tool for you, but so can acts of service. Giving this baked good to a neighbor, a friend, or a coworker could encourage them during a rough week. Make time to bake this loaf of pumpkin bread or learn how to make one of these falls treats this month.
8. Say No: Foster emotional wellness by knowing your limits. Trying to do more than you’re able or what everyone asks of you can be overwhelming and harmful to your emotional health. Set limits for your time, your capacity and your ability to take on the emotions of others. Limits are healthy for you physically, emotionally, and mentally.
9. Sweat it Out: We all know it’s important to exercise, but many of us don’t know exercise impacts our emotional health, too! When we get active, our bodies release endorphins that not only improves our mood, but also improve sleep, increase energy levels and boosts immunity. Get moving three or more times per week for 45-60 minutes to ignite your confidence and improve your physical and emotional health!
10. See a Counselor or a Therapist: Therapists or counselors are licensed through professional boards and are held to ethical and practice standards. They use a range of evidence-based interventions to help clients improve their emotional health. When searching for a counselor or therapist, look for someone whose specialty matches with your needs. Select a few potential candidates and set up brief phone calls with each to find the best fit for you. Finding a counselor that you feel comfortable talking to is important!
11. Be Creative: Flexing our creativity muscle allows us to release our emotions in healthy ways. Taking time to be creative doesn’t just mean picking up a crayon or putting hands to a piano! Writing, inventing solutions to small problems, rearranging a room, dancing, doing puzzles and cooking can all stimulate our creativity. To kick start your creativity, try the four keys to creativity: surround yourself in a stimulating environment, broaden your knowledge on a topic, challenge yourself to think in new ways and capture your new ideas.
12. Spend Time with Loved Ones: Quality time with loved ones is shown to improve emotional and physical wellness! Spending time with people who are important to us reduces stress hormones and can even extend our lifespans. It can be difficult to find time with busy schedules, but building in a few minutes for a phone call can make a world of difference. Catch a friend for coffee, a walk or a FaceTime session and feel the benefits!
Learn more about SC Thrive here.