Updated: Mar 26, 2019
As the Founder of Eva & Alma, I'm a massive fan of wellbeing and self care. There is a misconception in the UK that wellbeing refers to physical exercise, diet & nutrition and skin care. These things are important and it’s great there is a focus around the importance of all of these things. But what about the mind? The brain is such a powerful part of our body, but we shy away from working on the power of the mind and emotional health. For some reason, it can be perceived as a ‘weakness’. A ‘weakness’. Fancy that! I think anyone who has spent time working on their emotional health and finding the courage to really open up and embrace emotional wellbeing, is probably chuckling right now. If only we all knew how much strength it actually takes to achieve ‘total wellness’ (when we work on both our physical and mental health) and the benefits that come from it. We would become extremely powerful people (and I mean in the right way – not in a ‘power trip’ kind of way ;0 ).
If you want to find out how healthy, strong and powerful you could really be by working on your emotional health and mental wellbeing, try these 10 activities on for size and see how you get on:
1. Walk Outdoors – every day. There are so many studies out there that can prove that a short walk daily (30 mins is recommended) improves your physical AND emotional health. Even in Winter! Ideally we’d all like to be walking in areas of natural beauty, but not everyone can. However, if you start trying to live ‘mindfully’ (see activity 8), you’d be surprised what beauty you can still find – even in our concrete jungles.
2. Take ‘technology-free moments’. Technology is blooming marvellous. It’s revolutionised the World, our lives and how we can connect with others. However, there is a down side. As long as we acknowledge it and manage it, we should never have a problem and can continue to embrace and enjoy it. Taking ‘technology-free’ moments every day will have a big affect on mental wellbeing. For an hour a day, we recommend switching ALL technology off (including your phone!) and taking time out to ‘just be’. Whether that’s to sit in silence, enjoy a brew, a bath or reading a book.
3. Sleep well. Not getting enough sleep is awful for our emotional wellbeing. I totally appreciate that there are times in life where we will have disturbed sleep (e.g. kiddies!). However, there are also lots of things you can do to ensure you still get enough (too many to list here). If you’re not having to get up during the night with young children or because you're managing chronic pain, you should be able to create a sleep routine. Whether that’s lavender pillow sprays, reading a book before bed, no technology, meditation (there are LOTS of techniques to try), we should aim to get between 7-9 hours sleep a night.
4. Spend time with loved ones. Again there are lots of studies that show spending time with loved ones soothes the soul and brings us joy. The fading art of face to face communication is starting to make us all feel a little lonely which, is affecting our emotional wellbeing. Arranging more get-togethers with friends and family will be good for you. But, there is a caveat, spend time with those that make you feel good.
5. Take more ‘me time’. We are taught from a young age to give and care for others. This is a beautiful thing and should NEVER change. However, you can only give love and care for others in the right way if you care for yourself first. You know on a plane when you’re told to pop your own oxygen mask on first before helping others? Well that should be in life too but, be careful. If you take ‘me time’ but stop giving and caring for others – it becomes ‘selfish’. ‘Me time’ can include anything that you enjoy doing – just for you.
6. Be organised. You’re probably wondering why organisational skills are on the list. Well, running around last minute all of the time and chasing our tails makes us feel stressed. We appreciate that sometimes, things do happen where we have to react, but in reality, that shouldn’t be all of the time. Organising your life can make a HUGE difference to your stress levels and emotional wellbeing. We think this should be a blog by itself but ways to do this could be to meal plans and shop online, create daily to do lists, keep on top of your diary (have 1 diary – having more than 1 diary makes things worse lol!), just spend a bit of time planning in advance and your stress levels will decrease – pinky promise 😉
7. Meditation. Take a minimum of 10 minutes a day to meditate if you can. There are so many guided meditations out there. I like the Thrive app, Bella Beat and The Honest Guys on Youtube. Meditation has so many benefits, but the main one for us to pass on is the ability to make you switch off and feel relaxed.
8. Live Mindfully. The term ‘mindfulness’ is banded about everywhere nowadays – you must have been living under a rock to have missed it. But, what does it mean? Everyone seems to have different theories. I think that simply living mindfully is taking the time to appreciate what is around us, or what we are experiencing. It could be taking the time to really taste what we are eating or really noticing the detail and beauty around us – even in the cities. Have you every noticed some of the intricate architecture and small details that make you see a plain building differently? Have you noticed the beautiful Acer tree in the small park by your office window and how the sun makes it glisten a fiery red? It’s about stopping, noticing and appreciating.
9. Talk It Out. I'm a huuuuuuuuuge fan of Talking Therapy. I have regular counselling. Living with 3 quite complicated chronic illnesses have changed my life. To deal with the emotions and frustrations of going from a “I can do ANYTHING I want in life if I really work hard and my heart desires it” kinda girl, to having real physical limitations is tough - so I decided to spend time to talk it out. Talking to a trained and fully qualified counsellor or Psychotherapist is an extremely powerful tool. You get to release negative emotions (we have ALL had them) so they don’t sit with you, plus you get to REALLY know who you are. And we mean REALLY KNOW. You get to understand who you are, what you love about yourself and what you need to accept are your flaws. We should all have a counsellor/talking therapist in our pockets. You don’t have to be going through a ‘tough time’ to see one.
10. Create happy distractions! Modern day life can be pretty high pressured and sometimes stressful. Sometimes we can all feel overwhelmed by life so creating moments of happy distractions from these feelings can be a good thing (i'm not advocating ‘sticking your head in the sand’ though. But that’s another blog!). These happy moments are usually something creative, or simply trying new things. If you don’t know where to start, I can help you! My 'Sacred Self Care' Kits have hand-picked products to help you do just that.
For more information about my Sacred Self Care Kits or Holistic Therapies that can support your emotional health, please visit the shop or services on my site. If you can't find what you're looking for, just email me email@example.com and I'll be more than happy to help.