As an entrepreneur, executive, personal and/or virtual assistant everyday you are called upon to serve and give your very best, but in all truth you cannot give your best if you are not ’emotionally well’.
Last week was Valentine’s Day and L.O.V.E was all in the air! It was that special day when loved ones set aside time to give gifts and express their love and appreciation towards each other. Even if you didn’t have a ‘special’ someone to spend time with, today and everyday is the perfect day to L.O.V.E on Y.O.U! I find that as an Entrepreneur, Executive/Personal and/or Virtual Assistant you may spend time catering to the needs of others while neglecting your needs especially your emotional well being. This year and beyond Personal Assistant Magazine.com is focus on inspiring and encouraging you to live your Best Life and to become financially, mentally, spiritually, physically, and emotionally well!
So, what is Emotional Wellness, why is Emotional Wellness Important and what are some strategies you can take to improve your emotional health?
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Health (NIH.gov), Emotional wellness is the ability to successfully handle life’s stresses and adapt to change and difficult times. The American Psychological Association (apa.org) explains that, “Our bodies and brains are connected. Stress can take a toll on our physical health, while physical challenges can also bring new stress into our lives. By understanding how stress impacts our health and what steps we can take to stay emotionally balanced, we can lay the foundation for complete wellness.”
As entrepreneurs, executive, personal and/or virtual assistants your emotional wellness is extremely important because you are the ‘gatekeepers’ for your bosses and clients. How you feel can affect your ability to carry out your everyday activities and tasks and build professional and personal relationships. How you react and conduct yourself during stressful situations is crucial to your overall health and success. Unfortunately, you may work with a boss, client or even co-workers who may not know how to manage their stress levels but if you are able to manage and control your emotional well being then you have the ability to handle any narrative that is thrown your way.
Listed below are 6 strategies from U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Health (NIH.gov) that you can take to improve your emotional health:
Brighten your outlook – People who are emotionally well, experts say, have fewer negative emotions and are able to bounce back from difficulties faster. This quality is called resilience. Another sign of emotional wellness is being able to hold onto positive emotions longer and appreciate the good times. To develop a more positive mindset:
- Remember your good deeds – Give yourself credit for the good things you do for others each day.
- Forgive yourself – Everyone makes mistakes. Learn from what went wrong, but don’t dwell on it.
- Spend more time with your friends – Surround yourself with positive, healthy people.
- Explore your beliefs about the meaning and purpose of life – Think about how to guide your life by the principles that are important to you.
- Develop healthy physical habits – Healthy eating, physical activity, and regular sleep can improve your physical and mental health.
Reduce stress – Everyone feels stressed from time to time. Stress can give you a rush of energy when it’s needed most. But if stress lasts a long time—a condition known as chronic stress—those “high-alert” changes become harmful rather than helpful. Learning healthy ways to cope with stress can also boost your resilience. To help manage stress:
- Get enough sleep.
- Exercise regularly – Just 30 minutes a day of walking can boost mood and reduce stress.
- Build a social support network
- Set priorities – Decide what must get done and what can wait. Say no to new tasks if they are putting you into overload.
- Think positive – Note what you’ve accomplished at the end of the day, not what you’ve failed to do.
- Try relaxation methods – Mindfulness, meditation, yoga, or tai chi may help.
- Seek help – Talk to a mental health professional if you feel unable to cope, have suicidal thoughts, or use drugs or alcohol to cope.
Get quality sleep – To fit in everything we want to do in our day, we often sacrifice sleep. But sleep affects both mental and physical health. It’s vital to your well-being. When you’re tired, you can’t function at your best. Sleep helps you think more clearly, have quicker reflexes and focus better. Take steps to make sure you regularly get a good night’s sleep. To get better quality sleep:
- Go to bed the same time each night and get up the same time each morning.
- Sleep in a dark, quiet, comfortable environment.
- Exercise daily (but not right before bedtime).
- Limit the use of electronics before bed.
- Relax before bedtime. A warm bath or reading might help.
- Avoid alcohol and stimulants such as caffeine late in the day.
- Avoid nicotine.
- Consult a health care professional if you have ongoing sleep problems.
Cope with loss – When someone you love dies, your world changes. There is no right or wrong way to mourn. Although the death of a loved one can feel overwhelming, most people can make it through the grieving process with the support of family and friends. Learn healthy ways to help you through difficult times. To help cope with loss:
- Take care of yourself – Try to eat right, exercise, and get enough sleep. Avoid bad habits—like smoking or drinking alcohol—that can put your health at risk.
- Talk to caring friends – Let others know when you want to talk.
- Find a grief support group – It might help to talk with others who are also grieving.
- Don’t make major changes right away – Wait a while before making big decisions like moving or changing jobs.
- Talk to your doctor if you’re having trouble with everyday activities.
- Consider additional support – Sometimes short-term talk therapy can help.
- Be patient – Mourning takes time. It’s common to have roller-coaster emotions for a while.
Strengthen social connections – Social connections might help protect health and lengthen life. Scientists are finding that our links to others can have powerful effects on our health—both emotionally and physically. Whether with romantic partners, family, friends, neighbors, or others, social connections can influence our biology and well-being. To build healthy support systems:
- Build strong relationships with your kids.
- Get active and share good habits with family and friends.
- If you’re a family caregiver, ask for help from others.
- Join a group focused on a favorite hobby, such as reading, hiking, or painting.
- Take a class to learn something new.
- Volunteer for things you care about in your community, like a community garden, school, library, or place of worship.
- Travel to different places and meet new people.
Be mindful – The concept of mindfulness is simple. This ancient practice is about being completely aware of what’s happening in the present—of all that’s going on inside and all that’s happening around you. It means not living your life on “autopilot.” Becoming a more mindful person requires commitment and practice. Here are some tips to help you get started. To be more mindful:
- Take some deep breaths – Breathe in through your nose to a count of 4, hold for 1 second and then exhale through the mouth to a count of 5. Repeat often.
- Enjoy a stroll – As you walk, notice your breath and the sights and sounds around you. As thoughts and worries enter your mind, note them but then return to the present.
- Practice mindful eating – Be aware of taste, textures, and flavors in each bite, and listen to your body when you are hungry and full.
- Find mindfulness resources in your local community, including yoga and meditation classes, mindfulness-based stress reduction programs, and books.
I want you to always remember to be optimistic. Optimism allows you the opportunity to handle both of your emotions whether positive or negative with a confident attitude. Building emotional wellness won’t happen over night but IT WILL HAPPEN over time.
I AM becoming EMOTIONALLY WELL, I AM LIVING MY BEST LIFE NOW, I AM BRIGHTENING MY OUTLOOK, I AM REDUCING STRESS, I AM getting QUALITY SLEEP daily, I AM able to COPE WITH LOSS, I AM STRENGTHENING SOCIAL CONNECTIONS, I AM MINDFUL.
Danielle D. Smith/Personal Assistant Magazine.com