5 steps to emotional wellbeing
What does being well mean to you? And by being well I mean emotionally well. That is to say that your emotions are well.
Emotional wellbeing is closely tied to what you wear. If you feel good about yourself you will choose clothes that make you look and feel good. If you don’t feel good about yourself you will wear anything that comes to hand, often easy to wear clothes like jogging bottoms or pyjamas, and you might wear the same outfit for consecutive days.
Emotional wellbeing is also about the way that you run your own life, about being in charge of your own life and being able to take responsibility for it. It is about leading your own life in a way that nourishes you and produces positive results which give you a feeling of wellbeing.
As Medical News Today succinctly states:
“Emotional wellbeing refers to the awareness and understanding a person has about their emotions and how well they are able to manage through different life events.”
Running on empty
As women, and certainly I have noticed this myself, when we run on empty our emotional wellbeing is often quite low. Running on empty shows up in busy periods in our lives when there is very little recuperation time, when we have an excessive number of demands on us, when time to complete tasks is shorter than we would like, when we are already busy and a crisis hits. Because there is little recuperation time our inner resources, which keep us balanced and feeling well, are depleted and so we feel less well.
I know for myself that I charged through life without realising how much I needed not only to recharge my batteries when tired, but also to rest and restore my body. To take time away from work, develop interests, feel rested.
The importance of self-calming for emotional wellbeing
Before I had children it was easier to do these things. But when it came to getting married and having children I didn’t have a routine to fall back on that would help restore my emotional wellbeing.
When I experienced a period of crisis in my life I would have really benefitted from knowing how to calm myself, understanding how to self-calm. It was through surviving that period of hardship and really going to work on myself that I started to understand what contributes towards my emotional wellbeing. And then, when I realised, too, how much our emotional wellbeing contributes to how we look and our sense of personal identity and personal style the penny dropped for me and I understood that emotional wellbeing is vitaly important.
I also found journaling very useful, and still do. It helps clear my mind. You may find this post on creating your own wellness journal useful.
The Stylish Wellness Institute
Understanding more about myself and what I need in life is exactly why I have created the Stylish Wellness Institute. The link between how we look and how we feel is understood. But actually giving women ways in which to get to that place, I call it the zone of peace, of feeling good within and looking good without is underserved. So do check out the Stylish Wellness Institute. It’s a unique place.
So in this blog post I want to take you through 5 areas that all contribute towards your emotional wellbeing. These areas are:
- Outward Facing
- Life Enjoyment
Firstly it means that you are balanced. What does being balanced look like.
Being balanced means that you are on an even emotional keel throughout the day regardless of what external circumstances come your way.
If external circumstances do prove to be particularly taxing you are able to self regulate and return back to that state of being balanced.
Being balanced is not fixed, in a rigid kind of way, it does allow for movement.
Some of us are more inclined to being balanced than others. Some of us have to introduce techniques into our lives which help us to maintain a healthy balance.
Secondly it means that you have an independence from external factors. You’re not propped up by them.
External factors include:
External factors can also include:
You can enjoy eating and drinking, exercising, maintaining a beautiful house, creating an orderly life. That’s a great way to create a life you want. The danger is becoming too focussed and eventually obsessed with one element of your life in order to manage your day.
Emotional dependence on caffeine
A simple example is caffeine. We aren’t born with an innate desire for caffeine. (This may be hard to believe, especially for someone like me who loves their cup of coffee!) We introduce caffeine in the form of coffee or sweet drinks into our lives and enjoy them. Gradually over time consumption increases and you become more reliant on the caffeine to give you an energy boost. Then the consumption becomes a habit, and you start drinking coffee all day. Without you realising it, or even intentioning it your life is run on coffee and you can’t do without it in order to run your day.
Emotional dependence on food
We can say the same for food. Can’t get through the day without snacking all day? Do you respond to every emotion with a trip to the kitchen fridge?
Alcohol is another factor in our lives that can take hold of us. Are you only getting through the day because you know you can have a glass of wine at 6pm? Do you organise your weekends around what alcohol you are going to consume?
Thirdly, emotional wellness is not being self absorbed, and inward facing. It is being outward facing.
When you are self absorbed you are entirely concerned with getting your own needs met and show little interest in the people around you.
When you go through difficult times it’s understandable to batten down the hatches to get through that time of difficulty. Difficult times lead to self reflection, which can lead on to self absorption. What starts as a questioning as to “How did I get here?” can become entirely absorbing as we reflect on our misfortune. Reflecting on our misfortune but failing to pull ourselves out of that place and get ourselves back to a place of balance is a dangerous place to be.
But outside of those difficult times, an interest in other people, in the world around you is a healthy way to live.
Self-absorption is like a cul-de-sac, you just end up going round and round, there’s no way through. It catches you and then you’re caught, like a goldfish in a bowl, endlessly going round and round.
Women who are emotionally balanced have a healthy amount of resilience. I love the Psychology Today definition of resilience:
“Resilience is the psychological quality that allows some people to be knocked down by the adversities of life and come back at least as strong as before. Rather than letting difficulties, traumatic events, or failure overcome them and drain their resolve, highly resilient people find a way to change course, emotionally heal, and continue moving toward their goals.”
Emotionally well women enjoy their life. They don’t wait for life to be perfect, they enjoy their life now. They are not waiting for some point in the future when all will be well. Neither are they nostalgic for time in the past when all was well. They are content and fully present in the present. They embrace each day as it comes.
Emotional wellbeing and personal style
How many times have you said that you will lose weight, wear different clothes, ‘become a new you’, only to fail miserably (in your view) and end up right back where you started?
I know this, because it has happened to me so many times.
What I discovered is that my personal style, ie how I look like externally, to the world is intricately woven in with how I feel on the inside. The two are intertwined. You can’t have one without the other without a severe imbalance occurring. By severe imbalance I mean women who look good, amazing even, but who are secretly anorexic or bulimic. They look good to us, but on the inside their lives are far from healthy.
Cultivating healthy thoughts around food
When I was a girl we were almost in awe of the girls who had eating disorders. It seems shameful to admit that now! I was at an all-girls school. I think we thought that to have that amount of self control over your life, ie to eat hardly any food all day, was something to be admired. And I think from that time on I thought that to be successful in one’s life and over one’s life you had to exert that amount of self control and domination over one’s body.
It took me a long time to understand that self-care and radical self-love is what our bodies and minds need. Introducing that self-care and self-love into our lives is what the Stylish Wellness Institute is all about. The Institute is about combining the outer appearance with the inner experience to create balance. We call that balance the zone of peace. You can find out more about the Stylish Wellness Institute and the Zone of peace here.
How can you bring emotional wellbeing back into your life when it is lacking?
If you know that your emotional wellbeing levels are low and want to take some practical steps to raise your levels, here is a list of things you can do to redress the balance:
Take time for yourself
Reconnect with friends/family
Have a higher purpose
Live a life of service
Look and feel your best
Develop your own unique style
I would love you to join us in the Stylish Wellness Institute. But wherever you are on your emotional wellbeing journey I hope you have found some useful information in this blog post. Working Frocks publishes blog post on personal styling and emotional wellness. Check out the blog page for more posts that you will find useful.
Here are some recent articles:
Finally, let me tell you a little bit about Wardrobe Journaling. It is the process I have created that helps you understand yourself better through journaling and through thinking about the clothes you wear and your own unique personality. There are Wardrobe Journaling blog posts over at the Wardrobe Journaling website. There is also the entirely unique Wardrobe Journaling course. If you want to take a step further into your own self development and self care this is a great, gentle but powerful course to take.