Welcome to the fourth instalment of our “What is Wellbeing” thread. This week we are looking into emotional self-care.
Acknowledging the importance of being open to emotions. Open to feeling them, being aware of them, expressing them and assessing how we deal with them for the sake of our emotional health and state of mind.
Providing yourself with the blanket to wrap you up and comfort you when you need some reassurance. It is looking after your internal well-being.
There seems to be an unconscious perception that we need to be these perfectly invincible beings that feel great all the time and can handle anything without batting an eyelid. That is completely unsustainable and unhealthy. Everybody needs an outlet, some sort of release. Suppressing feelings will only welcome a chaotic outburst of a meltdown.
- Speaking from personal experience, you want to avoid that! It can be easier to repress negative emotions, just bury them away as if they don’t exist, so you don’t have to deal with them, but you do. They will creep out on you when you least expect it. Be truthful to yourself and save yourself from an easily avoidable emotional overload later down the road
We are all emotional beings, we react to circumstances by feeling emotions, some deeper than others perhaps, but we do nonetheless. They are normal, natural and personal responses to situations. It is important to take the time to understand what it is you are feeling, to enable acceptance so you can support yourself or articulate your emotions to someone else, so that they can offer the necessary support.
Try not beat yourself up, care for yourself internally as much as you take care of yourself externally. When you feel a certain way let that emotion be felt, provide yourself with comfort and reassurance internally to re-pattern the way you deal with them. Allow the space for acknowledgement and understanding.
Try to avoid slipping into functioning on auto pilot, allow yourself to feel all the emotions, judgement free. They don’t define you, they surface, disappear and are replaced by another. The chances are you probably judge yourself more than others do, so give yourself a break.
Identify your emotional triggers and the things that make you feel a certain way. Then you can figure out how to consciously express and react to them in a safe, healthy way for you and those around you.
Internally comfort yourself with words of encouragement, allocate some time for meditation or a moment of stillness, quiet and relaxation for self-reflection. Get into a routine of weekly, if not daily activities that comfort you – they don’t need to take up too much time, just something personal to you that is guaranteed to lift your spirits.
- Outside support
Try to build a support network of people you trust and can confide in. It doesn’t need to be a whole pyramid scheme, just a handful of people. Perhaps loved ones, family, friends, health professionals. Sometimes talking out issues lifts such a huge weight off your shoulders! Never under-estimate the value of a variety of perspectives to gain insight!
Although emotions are responses that occur in the brain they can take over your whole body. Creating tension in the muscles, they could even be culprit to habitual aches, pains and strains that leave you physically drained. Rest and sleep are so vital in the rejuvenation of physical energy and mental attitude. Giving your body and mind the time to switch off, release all the unwanted tension and undesirable energies to wake up feeling like a new person.
In consideration, embrace your emotions, be kind to yourself, be gentle. You are human.
Words contributed by: Julia Jordan