How To Set Yourself Up For Emotional Wellbeing

 

 

Caring for your mental health and wellbeing doesn't begin the moment you step into a counselor's office. How you take care of yourself and your body in your day to day life has a significant impact on your mood, energy level, and ability to regulate difficult emotions. Research has shown that many environmental, relational, and physical health factors have a significant impact on our mental health! By focusing on these healthy lifestyle factors, you can reduce your emotional vulnerability and set yourself up for success:

 

  • Get the right amount of sleep

    • This means getting no less than 7 hours per night but no more than 9 hours

  • Treat any physical ailments or pain

    • Physical pain or illness impacts our mental health

  • Take prescribed medication according to your doctor’s orders

    • If you are noticing unwanted side effects or have questions about its effectiveness, talk to your prescribing physician about your concerns

  • Balance and be aware of your eating

    • This mean three healthy meals a day with light, healthy snacks when you are hungry

    • Reduce unhealthy or “junk” foods when possible

  • Stay hydrated!

    • This means having about eight to nine 8 oz. glasses of water a day

  • Reduce or eliminate your substance use

    • This includes alcohol, drugs, or other intoxicants

  • Be aware of your caffeine use; reduce when necessary

    • Caffeine can increase anxiety and disrupt sleep patterns

  • Exercise regularly

    • Especially aerobic exercises when possible (jogging, running, swimming, cycling, treadmill, dancing, elliptical, etc.)

  • Practice effective hygiene

    • Showering daily, wearing clean clothes, and taking care of our bodies can improve how we feel about ourselves

  • Practice deep breathing daily

  • Reduce clutter and maintain reasonably clean home

    • Your home doesn’t have to be perfect, but you want to feel able to be at peace and able to rest when you are at home

  • Go outside

  • Plan time for positive experiences

    • For example, regularly go on dates or explore local parks, etc.

  • Spend time with friends or loved ones

  • Master a new skill or hobby

  • Try something new

    • Experiencing new things (even just trying out a new restaurant, etc.) can help improve our mood

  • Reduce screen time

  • Be aware of media consumption

    • If something is relentlessly negative, violent, cynical, or just generally makes you feel down or worked up, reduce use

 

This week, choose several of these healthy lifestyle factors to focus on. Choose the ones that feel most doable or impactful in your life. Maybe you want to try to reduce the amount of time you spend on social media or you've been needing an extra push of motivation to take the daily walk you've been meaning to take. As you care for your body, environment, and relationships, notice how these practices influence your mood, sense of overall wellbeing, and energy level. These healthy habits can help you craft an environment that will make you less emotionally vulnerable in the long run.

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