October is Emotional Wellness Month, serving as an important reminder for folks to take charge of their emotional health. Here at Vibrant Health, we talk a lot about your physical health and the importance of fueling your body with nutrient-rich, whole foods, but emotional health plays a big role in your overall wellness too — and it’s all interconnected!
So what’s emotional health got to do with it, anyway? According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), emotional wellness is “the ability to successfully handle life’s stresses and adapt to change and difficult times.” They break this down into six main pillars: managing emotions, stress reduction, sleep, mindfulness, coping with loss and social connections.
Between back-to-school, pandemic challenges and everyday life chaos, it’s safe to say most of us could use a little emotional wellness tuneup. That’s why this month on the Vibrant Health blog, we’re sharing 30 ways to boost your emotional wellness this October and beyond!
Your Emotional Wellness Focus: Managing Your Emotions
Use this month to take a look into how you manage your emotions…during the best of times and the worst of times. If negative emotions tend to get the best of you (think: glass is half empty), it’s helpful to see where you can balance those emotions. Here are some tips for managing your emotions:
- Spread kindness: Turns out, doing good for others may actually boost your health and wellbeing. Pay it forward with some random acts of kindness or try these tips to give back to others!
- Practice positive affirmations: Start your day with positive affirmations to bring in feelings of confidence, joy and self-love.
- Integrate meditation into your day: Meditation can be a wonderful tool for managing emotions. Try a free app like InsightTimer to search for meditations based on your particular emotional needs.
- Write in a gratitude journal: Focus on all the good in your life by writing in a gratitude journal. Simply write something you’re grateful for each morning!
- Try therapy: If you’re still struggling sorting through your emotions, hiring a therapist can be a great way to talk it out with a professional.
Your Emotional Wellness Focus: Reducing Your Stress
We all deal with stress, but if you’re experiencing prolonged chronic stress or it’s getting the best of your emotions lately, it’s time to dig in! Here are some tips for reducing your stress:
- Practice yoga: Consider bringing yoga into your weekly routine! After all, studies have shown that yoga can be effective at reducing stress, anxiety and mood disorders.
- Don’t overbook yourself: Are you overextending yourself? Practice saying no to things you don’t want to do so you don’t risk burning out.
- Develop an exercise routine that works for you: Moving your body is a wonderful way to cope with stress and boost your endorphins; just be sure to find an exercise routine that works for you!
- Book a relaxation massage: If you’re stressed out, massage may help. Studies have shown massage therapy can reduce occupational stress and boost mental health.
Your Emotional Wellness Focus: Improving Your Sleep
Sleep is essential for optimal wellness, and if you’re not getting a good night’s sleep you’re likely going to pay the price. Here are some tips for improving your sleep:
- Limit afternoon caffeine: If you find yourself wired before bed, try limiting your caffeine intake to the morning hours
- Unplug before bed: Work on limiting your use of technology in the hours leading up to bedtime. This means unplugging from your laptop, television, and yes your phone (including instagram scrolling and text messages)!
- Sip on some calming herbal tea: A cup of soothing herbal tea like chamomile may help you unwind at the end of the day.
- Elevate your sleep environment: Is your bedroom conducive to good sleep? Elevate your environment by getting blackout shades or investing in a cozy comforter to set the mood.
- Try restorative yoga: Restorative yoga can be a beneficial way to relax the body and mind. Even taking a few deep breaths in child’s pose can be an incredible way to chill out before bed.
- Develop a healthy bedtime ritual: Be consistent with your bedtime routine, and try incorporating relaxing self-care tools such as journaling, lavender essential oils, calming music or a warm pre-snooze bath.
Your Emotional Wellness Focus: Practicing Being Mindful
Are you flying through life or savoring each and every moment? Here are some tips to practice slowing down and being more mindful:
- Practice mindful eating: If you’re striving for more mindfulness, start with the way you eat. Here are some mindful eating tips to help you stay present during your mealtime.
- Try walking meditation: Perhaps you’ve tried traditional meditation before, but walking meditation can be a great way to shake it up and have a new perspective. Enjoy a mindful walk outside unplugged to slow down and connect with nature.
- Be present with your family & friends: Be mindful of how you’re showing up with your friends and family. Going on a digital detox is a great way to unplug so you can be more present.
- Write in a Journal: Take a break from the hustle bustle of your day to quiet your mind by writing in a journal. Journaling can be a wonderful tool to pause and reflect.
- Stop & smell the roses: If you’re mindlessly racing through life, this is your cue to stop and smell the roses — literally. Appreciate each and every moment!
Your Emotional Wellness Focus: Learning to Cope with Loss
Coping with a loss can be an incredibly vulnerable and emotional time. Here are some tips to take care of your emotional wellness while coping with loss:
- Practice self-care: While you’re grieving, don’t forget to take care of yourself Here are some simple ways to practice self-care.
- Join a grief support group: Consider joining a grief support group to be a part of a safe space with others who are dealing with similar emotions.
- Ask for help: Don’t be afraid to ask for help while you’re dealing with these heavy emotions — be it a heartfeld chat with a loved one or asking a friend to drop off dinner.
- Be gentle with yourself: Remember to be gentle with yourself throughout the process, allowing yourself to process all the emotions so you can begin to heal.
Your Emotional Wellness Focus: Building Social Connections
Social connection is crucial for living a happy, fulfilled life, and studies have shown it may even improve health and longevity. Here are some tips to build healthy social connections:
- Know your Love Language: Strengthen your relationships — from the way you parent to how you show up in your romantic partnerships — by discovering your Love Language.
- Volunteer in the community: Make new connections while doing good in your local community through volunteering!
- Connect with loved ones: Be sure to make time for your family and friends by checking in with them — connecting over an outdoor stroll, home-cooked meal or even a quick phone/Zoom call.
- Take a workshop: Take a workshop on a topic that you’re passionate about as a way to learn something new while getting to know other like-minded folks in your area!
- Join a Facebook group: Join a Facebook or networking group that speaks to you — be it geared toward entrepreneurs or a hobby you’re interested in.
- Remove toxic relationships: Lastly, you want to make sure your relationships reflect how you want to feel — knowing it’s OK to take a break from any toxic relationships (both in real life or on social media).
Here are some additional ways to connect with yourself (and others)!
DISCLAIMER: This information is not intended as a substitute for advice provided by a competent health care professional. You should not use this information in diagnosing or treating a health problem. No claim or opinion in this blog is intended to be, nor should be construed to be, medical advice. If you are now taking any drugs, prescribed or not, or have a medical condition, please consult a competent physician who is aware of herb/drug interactions before taking any herbal supplements. The information presented herein has not been evaluated by the FDA or the Department of Health and is not intended to diagnose, prevent, cure, mitigate or treat any disease or illness.