It is easy to lose track of the state of your mind and body during the mayhem of a typical day. Who has time to worry about their feelings when the mornings are full with getting kids to school, work is crazy, and the evenings are chuck full every night for the next – oh, 10 to 18 years?
As parents, teachers, or helpers of any kind it is more common than not that we put other’s needs before our own, but that is a recipe for disaster. To maintain both your mental and your emotional health, it is vital to stay aware of your own needs and feelings. Below are 5 tips to help in your journey to self-awareness and a healthy emotional state.
We all have breaking points and the vast majority of us come close to those points on a fairly consistent basis. Having an outlet for your stress and emotions that you enjoy is a great step to fighting anxiety. Creating a list of stress busters and hanging them on the wall where it can be seen is a go-to tactic for individuals who struggle with symptoms of anxiety. The list can consist of simple behaviors such as reading, meditating, going for a walk, or listening to your favorite music. The key is to make the list and keep it available because when the stress hits hard, ideas don’t come easy.
Tip: Make sure that your stress busters do not create more stress. Make them easy and enjoyable.
Even though the saying, “All work and no play makes Johnny a dull boy.” kind of freaks me out ever since seeing The Shining as a kid, it is very good advice. Owning my own business has showed me that work can very easily become all-encompassing of time, energy, and emotions. Boundaries and limitations when it comes to protecting the time and energy you get to spend with your family and friends are a necessary part of not burning out on your work.
Tip: Put play time on your calendar and make it a top priority.
Being useful to others and being valued for what you can do to help is a great self-esteem builder. Helping others creates the sensation within your body that you have time and energy to spare – you have abundance. The feeling of having abundance when it comes to just about anything in your life – time, money, friendships – goes a long way in enhancing emotional health.
Tip: Like my mama and The Red Hot Chili Peppers always said, “Give it away. Give it away. Give it away now.”
Self-discipline, as boring as it sounds, leads to a sensation of happiness and accomplishment. Self-discipline gives you the feeling of power and can help you overcome feelings of helplessness and other negative emotions. Doing anything consistently creates results beyond what you may have initially thought possible. If you consistently workout for a period of time, write at the same time every day, or spend quality time with your children after school I guarantee you will see radical results.
Tip: Make it a game to track your discipline. Jerry Seinfeld said that he would X out a day on the calendar every day he would write. He never wanted to break the streak of X’s and he has pages of calendar months to prove his discipline.
Think of learning and discovering as “intellectual sweets”. Learning new things allows you to see the world with different eyes and step back to see the insignificance of many of our daily struggles. Our world today is quite literally at our fingertips. Anything you want to learn is but a Google search away. However, I suggest you get out from behind your computer or phone and interact physically with the world. Take a class, join a book club, visit a museum, travel to new places, or simply look around your neighborhood and discover things you never took time to notice.
Tip: Write down what you learn every day. There would be no greater legacy to give to your children or loved ones.