I know it can be tempting to put your emotional health on the backburner, especially when life gets busy, which is just about always. There’s a work deadline, it’s Market Day at the kids’ school, the carpets need to be shampooed … we all know I could continue!
But I have learned the hard way that neglecting your emotional well-being can have serious consequences. I’m sure some of you out there have learned the hard way too! Not sure why we do that to ourselves, but it seems to be a popular trend;).
A helpful way to keep tabs on this, is to always imagine yourself as having an emotional thermometer.
We can typically tell when the thermometer is in the healthy zone or when it’s beginning to rise. The key is to catch it when it’s a degree or two off, versus when it hits 105 degrees and it’s time to head to the ER.
Once that happens we begin to experience things like:
1. Burnout: When you’re constantly pushing yourself without taking time to recharge, burnout can sneak up on you faster than you can say “”mental breakdown.”” Trust me, I’ve been there!
2. Strained relationships: Neglecting your emotional health can cause you to feel irritable, overwhelmed, and disconnected from the people you care about. The exact opposite of someone that you would personally want to be around.
3. Health problems: We’ve always been taught that chronic stress can lead to physical health problems like heart disease and high blood pressure. BUT DID YOU KNOW that elevated cortisol (released into our bodies by stress) also leads to digestive issues and autoimmune disease …. which happen to be seriously on the rise!! And that’s not all.
Your emotional health is DIRECTLY tied to your physical health. So, my advice? Don’t wait until you hit rock bottom to start prioritizing your emotional health.
However prioritizing works for you!
Of course there are the textbook answers: taking a bath, journaling, or seeking support from a mental health professional
But on a day-to-day and minute-by-minute basis, it might be more like getting 10 minutes of fresh air, have a 5-minute stretching routine, spending a few minutes in a comfy chair with AirPods in and eyes closed, watching a couple of funny videos (just make sure and set a timer or give a number limit … too much screen time, we all know, can actually end up causing more exhaustion).
As you start to visualize your thermometer and pay more attention to the changes, you’ll get better and better at catching it a degree or two off, instead of only noticing when things start to spike.
Because Emotional Health Matters!
And as always, don’t ever hesitate to reach out with questions, or for support!