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7 steps you can take today to better your emotional health

What does emotional health mean?

Your emotional health is an important component of your overall wellness related to your emotions. Simple as that.

How do you take care of it? You need to make sure you are getting adequate self care.

Self-care is kind of a buzzword lately. Every magazine you open gives you tips on how you can take better care for yourself, and in doing so, live your best life possible. You know why? Because it works! Who doesn’t feel better after taking 15-20 minutes to relax and restore?

Sometimes, it is hard to reach that place where you can feel “taken care of,” and feel like your spirit is lifted. Sometimes, we’re in a bad place, and we can’t find it the strength to do nice things for ourselves. I have been there. I am still there sometimes. This past year has been an eye opener for me as far as figuring out what I need to feel emotionally well, and finding the strength to go about getting it.

There is no shame in struggling with mental health, but there are some easy steps you can take TODAY to make the journey a little more manageable.

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Also, I am not a doctor or mental health professional. Just someone who has lived with anxiety for many years who is passionate about sharing her experiences and tips for success. If you are in crisis call your doctor, then click here for some good mental health resources.

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How to improve emotional health

There are definitely lots of ways to do this without breaking the bank, or stressing you out. Check these out and let me know which ones you have tried before.

Read books designed to encourage you.

I wrote about some great personal development books the other day. Like I mentioned earlier, I have spent a lot of time in the past several months trying to figure out what was going on in my mind and what I could do to start feeling better.

I truly believe getting even a small amount of personal development in each day will help you feel better. Pick out a book that inspires you and spend 10-15 minutes a day reading it or listening to it. Bonus step: Choose a pretty notebook and a pen with your favorite colored ink and write down your thoughts as you read. I am currently reading this GORGEOUS book by Jacqueline Pirtle called 365 Days of Happiness. In it she says:

[…]ask yourself these questions:

    -How do I feel right now?

    -What do I need right now?

    -What do I desire right now?

    -How can I serve myself better?

365 Days of Happiness, page 34

Use these questions as jumping off points in your daily self-improvement exercises. There are also a lot of really great ideas for journaling prompts and self care exercises on Pinterest!

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Get some physical activity.

You don’t have to go out there and run 10 miles. But if you spend even 15 minutes doing something that will increase your heart rate, you will be grateful for the rush of endorphins.

I definitely suggest starting slow. Make it a goal to walk around the block on your lunch break each day. You can gradually build up from there. After a few weeks, you might even feel confident enough to jog!

Some of my favorite physical activities that can be done in a short amount of time:

-A nice walk outside

-The elliptical trainer

-Jumping rope

-Doing strength exercises like bicep curls and crunches and leg presses

Science has shown that regular exercise is vital for improving mental health. I boosts endorphins and dopamine levels— feel good chemicals that make you feel happier. So make it a priority!

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Choose foods that nourish you.

Certain foods have the capacity to make you feel mentally better. Check out this short list of foods in the picture above you can incorporate into your diet daily to make yourself feel better. (Hello, dark chocolate! I’m coming for you!)

You may not feel better immediately. It will take time. But making a habit of eating healthier, and especially specific foods will make a difference in the long run.

Take care of your physical appearance.

This is one I struggle with at times, but I think it is truly important. When you wake up, set aside 20 minutes. I think we all have that. Set your alarm for 20 minutes earlier if necessary. Once you’re awake, do the following:

Action Steps:

-Brush your teeth
-Wash your face
-Take a 5-10 minute shower
-Comb your hair
-Put on deodorant
-Apply a little make-up.
-Put on clothes.

I have been so inspired by my friend Amy (the genius behind Amy of all Trades) She posts super cute hair style ideas and make up tips and it makes me want to actually make an effort. Definitely check out her page if you need some inspiration. (She is also on Facebook and Instagram.)

Go for a check up at the doctor.

If you’re feeling really run down, it might not be a bad idea to check in with your primary care physician. Get some blood work done and make sure your vitamin B and D levels are where they need to be. They can also make recommendations for specialists that might be appropriate for your situation.

Do something artistic.

I LOVE coloring. I cannot draw to save my life, so I rely on others to create the artwork for me to color. Check out this adorable coloring book that’s pretty cheap on Amazon. If you want to just print something out, click here to check out my board on Pinterest for adult coloring pages. Order, or print something out, grab some colored pencils, and be amazed at how much better you feel.

Talk to someone.

This has been helpful- nay, critical- in my beginning to get well. Share your struggles with a trusted friend. Or, like me, start a blog about them. There really is no limit to how your battles can positively impact others, and in doing so, help you as well. You just have to take the first step.

These are only a few ideas. There are so many more I could have possibly written about! What do you do for yourself regularly to better your moods? I would love to hear what you come up with in the comments! Also, make sure to share the post if you found it helpful.

Remember, your emotional health is an important part of you, and deserves at least 15 minutes of your time a day.

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Related posts for emotional health:

The Grief Process: Why I Believe There Are 6 Stages, Not 5

How to maintain adult friendships + why it’s important

50 must have mental health resources that you need to know

What empathy means (And why it is more important than ever in 2020)

Dizziness and anxiety: 11 ways to find relief

65 thoughts on “7 steps you can take today to better your emotional health”

  1. Emotional health is soooo important!!! Today, I was focusing on savoring nature as we hiked through the aspens which is something we don’t typically get to do. We live in the desert so any chance we get to be surrounded by trees and anything green boosts my emotional health! Also, I focused on connecting with my kids and dancing. Dancing always helps 🙂

    1. Aww that’s so fun! Mine love dancing too and try to get my reserved self to get up and dance with them. But it does always make me feel better! Thanks for reading 🙂

  2. I have gotten out of the habit of reading, which is my favorite thing to do. However, we have been getting outside more, so that is a win. The rest of your suggestions will be added to our days this coming week.

    1. Definitely. It’s not even about standing there for 2 hours with a full make up kit and a curling iron. Just simple ways to feel your best. Thanks for reading!

  3. These are really easy routine actions that we all need to do everyday, but when you feel bad these actions are so hard to do. Taking care of yourself and doing something new it makes me feel better. When I don’t have a good week, I love to make a break and make a mask and do something for me and my body. It makes me feel wonderful.

  4. Many disregard emotional health but it is very important. Recommending to combo our hair and wash our face does make a difference. Simple things and simple steps begin taking care of ourselves.

  5. Bookmarked! I cannot tell you that how much I loved it! Surely it becomes hard at times to take care of our mental health but some steps like the ones you mentioned can make it a little more manageable ✨

  6. Emotional health is so important, especially with all that is going on in our world. It helps to have an outlet, whether that be a journal, exercise or other self care activities.

  7. These are really helpful tips so thank you for sharing. My emotional health is a rollercoaster at the moment. I burst into tears for no reason or laugh at all the wrong things. Doing something created and practising self-care have been the things that are getting me through and making me feel better. Blogging is defo one of the releases I love to use right now!

    Em x

    1. Yeah I’ve been extra grumpy during the pandemic and super tired. I’m glad you found something that can help, and can recognize how you’re doing. I hope you keep feeling better. Thanks for reading!

  8. These are all wonderful tips! Sometimes I forget how little I care about my physical appearance when I am at home with no where to go. Even if I’m not going out, sometimes it’s good to get dressed or take care of myself for me and I need to remember that. Thanks for sharing!

  9. I’ve been feeling down in the dumps lately because of lockdown and I live in the basement (not enough sunlight). I can only tell myself “Well you survived the last 10 ‘crises. You’ll live through this one'” which is a HUGE improvement compared to me prior. Interesting and great read of a post! Thank you for the tips!

    1. It has been really challenging hasn’t it? I’ve had lots of personal issues on top of it. Hopefully it all gets better soon. Hang in there, and thank you for reading!

  10. Personal development books are something I’ve used in the past that have helped, I’m long overdue reading one. My diet is one the biggest things I need to address, it’s not very good to be honest.

  11. Thank you for this. I have been doing a few things off this list already but I’m glad I got to learn a few more, like doing something artistic. Thank you also, for I have another book added to my ‘to read’ list. ✨

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