5 Tips for Improving Your Emotional Wellbeing

by | Sep 14, 2020 | Articles, Happiness

If you’ve lost your mojo, it’s time to pay close attention to your emotional wellbeing. Months of COVID-19 lockdown and restrictions are taking their toll and you may be among the many women who no longer feel confident, motivated or enthusiastic about their life.

Although we’re still unsure of how the future will unfold, the good news is that there are steps you can take to improve your emotional wellbeing. This will help you feel more positive, energetic and in control. In other words, you’ll get your mojo back!

With the impact of the global pandemic on everyday life, it’s not surprising that you may be feeling more vulnerable than usual. Our emotional wellbeing has certainly taken a beating.

And quite apart from COVID-19, women’s lives are challenging in many other ways. We face a myriad of professional demands, family responsibilities, financial concerns and physical health issues, not to mention the often-impossible expectations we place on ourselves.

In my experience, a woman always benefits from intentionally taking care of her emotional wellbeing. This means deliberately, consciously and as a routine habit.

The benefits include no longer feeling lost in your emotions and experiencing much less overwhelm or confusion. Understanding your emotions also helps you behave more appropriately. Without awareness, you may act or speak in unhelpful ways. For example, if work is frustrating but you take it out on the kids, you may needlessly damage your relationship with the kids. Alternatively, if you understand that the frustration is work-related and needs to be dealt with there, you’re much less likely to snap at home.

Intentional Self-Care For Your Emotional Wellbeing

My 5 tips will help you understand how to care for your emotional wellbeing

#1 Know what emotions are

Your emotions are the expression of what happens in your life. Feelings change according to circumstances and are influenced by our thinking. Some emotions may feel unpleasant, such as sadness, grief or anger but no emotion is ‘bad’.

Our emotions serve the important purpose of letting us know what’s going on for us.

#2 Acknowledge your emotions

Rather than act out, suppress or ignore our emotions, the best thing is to become aware of them. If you feel irritated or sad, notice that and ask yourself why. What events led to your emotion and what were your thoughts about the events?

For example, you feel irritated because the kids are running late for school. This makes you worry about what the teachers and other parents will think about you.

Or, you feel sad because a friend cancels dinner plans. This makes you afraid of being unlikeable and friendless.

#3 Understand your emotions

Once you’ve recognised the worry or fear that’s behind your irritation or sadness, you can then check if it’s rational.

For example, does it really matter what other people think if your kids are late for school? Will they even notice or care?

Or, does your friend cancelling really mean they (and others) don’t like you and you’ll end up alone? Does that conclusion really follow from one changed plan?

It’s also helpful to acknowledge and understand your pleasant emotions.

When you feel good, ask yourself why…

For example, if you finished a work project, your feelings of satisfaction may indicate that you value being productive and completing tasks. Knowing this helps you understand yourself better and live your life accordingly.

Or, you may feel happy and realise it’s because you’ve had lunch with a friend. This shows that you value socialising and you need to keep that in your routine.

#4 Gain control

Recognising unpleasant emotions and exploring what’s behind gives you more control. You learn that your emotions are like indicators and can be questioned and better understood. This is an essential component of emotional wellbeing, namely the ability to question your emotions without being swept away by them and behaving or speaking in ways that are not helpful.

When we don’t acknowledge or understand what’s really going on for us, we can act impulsively.

For example, when you’re frustrated about work and yell at the kids, you’re acting impulsively and directing your frustration in the wrong place. The source of your emotion is at work, not at home.

Or, when you feel sad about your friend cancelling dinner plans and put out prickly vibes to your partner, you’re acting impulsively. Your partner has nothing to do with the changed dinner plans.

This type of misdirection makes things worse because it will impact the relationships it didn’t have anything to do with.

Another way to act impulsively is to direct your emotions towards yourself. Feeling upset that your boss didn’t acknowledge all your hard work on a project, you may eat the leftover cheesecake in the fridge. Eating the cheesecake feels good in the moment and lulls the uncomfortable feeling, but let’s face it, that’s 800 extra calories you didn’t need!

When you recognise what’s going on for you, you can start to solve the problem not just dull the pain of it.

#5 Practice makes progress

Use one or more of these suggestions to begin acknowledging and understanding your emotions. Aim to build a five to ten-minute regular habit into your life. The benefits will surprise you.

• Write in a journal to make notes about your EMOTIONS, EVENTS and THOUGHTS.
• Try an app like Thought Diary to record your thoughts and how you responded to events during the day.
• Use a mindfulness exercise that you enjoy to help calm you down. This makes the acknowledging and understanding much easier. Try the app My Life.
• Maintain a list of activities that ‘fill your emotional tank’. This will be different for everyone. For me it’s walking the dog. For you it might be having a shower, painting a picture, catching up with a friend, an afternoon nap, digging in the garden or putting clean sheets on the bed.
• Ask for professional help. You don’t have to do this work on your own. If your emotions are indicating that all is not well, talking to a counsellor can really help you unpack what’s going on. This is step 1 towards regaining your mojo.

If you’ve lost your mojo and would like to feel more positive about your life, here are four ways I can help:

  1. Read about the counselling services I offer here. 
  2. Join my Facebook Self Care group for Women for tips on how to care for your emotional wellbeing. Click here to join.
  3. Contact me to arrange a 1:1 Counselling session to start living your best life. Click here. 
  4. If you would like to live a guilt-free life of purpose, freedom and happiness, check out my Empowering You program! Click here. 

Talk soon,

Honni Hayton.

Honni Hayton Counsellor

About Honni Hayton

A qualified, practicing counsellor, Honni Hayton has been helping people live their best life for over 20 years. She specialises in providing women’s counselling services, both in person and online. She also provides relationship counselling to help couples find happiness again.