Busyness, taking care of others, or working long hours is a staple for many of us, but the toll it takes on our emotional health is something we often overlook until we’re burnt out. So, what can we do to be more connected to our emotional needs? And can simple solutions really make a difference?
Emotional health is just as important as physical health. We all know the value of eating healthy, getting enough rest, and exercising regularly. However, far too often our emotional health is put on the back burner in response to too much happening around us. Whether we create an overly scheduled lifestyle or we comply with what is required of us, when we neglect our emotional health, we neglect our connection to ourselves. This emotional suppression can lead to all sorts of issues, such as emotional eating, weight gain, stress, anxiety, and over time, even depression.
Beginning to recognize your emotional needs and becoming more intentional about them will make it easier for you to be available to others. You will have a better perception of when you are feeling overloaded and will therefore be able to set boundaries before it gets to the burnout point. You will be better able to combat daily stressors, because your internal gauge will be more in tune, which is good for your overall wellness. Your body will have more energy to invest toward other concerns, such as fighting off disease. You will know when to set limits, and reserve your energy more accurately, because you won’t be ping-ponging from recharged to depleted, making you able to do more and be more present with others. This awareness also prevents endless recuperating from burnout, since bouncing back can be extremely emotionally and physically taxing on you and those around you.
- Listen to your breath. Check in on your emotional stress by stopping to listen to your breath. I suggest practicing this technique when you are in a calm frame of mind to make it easier to notice. Rapid, short breathing shows high stress, whereas long, smooth, slow breathing is evidence of a relaxed state.
- Pause.Take one minute to pause each day. Make it a part of a routine. Try pausing every morning or on your morning commute, whichever is a time you can easily get quiet with yourself. Take that minute to be intentional and recharge.
- “What does my heart say?” I use this question, which I learned from a fellow life coach, to check in with myself to see where my emotional gauge is. Place your hands over your heart, close your eyes, and ask yourself.