Emotional wellness is paramount to staying positive and living a balanced life. In the past we have covered some basic principles of emotional wellness, which you can find here. While I love talking about the general ideas behind different aspects of wellness, it is also nice to give some specific examples. This is especially true because to truly live well we must play the long game, but to do so we must consistently perform during the short game.
So, this week I want you to go out and do these five things at least once, and maybe more.
1. Call a friend you have not spoken with in over a year.
Life gets busy and it is so easy for time to get away from us. It is vital to regularly take some time to stay in touch with loved ones. It seems like every year we lose touch with people or only see their name on the holiday card list, but we never reach out and contact them directly.
This week, look through your contacts and call someone that you have not spoken with in over a year. Do not send them a text, just call. If they don’t answer, leave a voicemail and try someone else. There is just something heartwarming when you see the name of an old friend pop up on your phone and get to hear their voice. Not only will getting in touch brighten your day, but it will add an unexpected surprise to theirs.
2. Write a letter.
Even though we have smart phones, email, texting, and everything in-between; none of them can beat the beauty of a hand-written letter. The tactile sensation of the letter in your hand, looking at the script and artwork, and the content of the heartfelt message itself make receiving letters a most welcome experience. This week, sit down and write a letter to someone special in your life.
Not only will they be surprised to receive it, but it will feel great to send it. Furthermore, the process of sitting down and writing has its own calming effect. The letter does not have to be long and elaborate, just the gesture itself shows tremendous care and brings emotional fulfillment to all parties involved.
Alternatively, this is a great way to extend an olive branch to someone that we are not on the best terms with. For whatever reason letters are often very heartfelt, and have an almost magical way of mending old wounds. While it may not solve the issue entirely, a letter can provide the necessary first step.
3. Give a friend an unexpected gift.
It always feels great to give someone a gift, and it is even better when it is unexpected. This shows someone else you are thinking of them, and also gives you the thrill of picking something they find to be meaningful. This could even be coupled with number two to make for a particularly special letter!
Just like the content of the letter or the topic of your phone call, the gift itself is less important than the gesture. In fact, the best gifts are the ones that come uniquely from you. Maybe include a picture you took that you thought they would enjoy, or bake someone’s favorite dessert and surprise them with it. It really is the thought that counts.
4. Invite a friend or family member for dinner.
We all have to eat, and there really is no better way to socialize than sharing a meal with loved ones. Because this is part of anyone’s daily schedule, it is typically quite easy to find a time to make this happen. Even if a home cooked meal is not possible, going out for food works just as well, and may even be preferred. The best thing to do is keep in mind what the invitee would enjoy the most. In fact, they may even enjoy cooking with you!
5. Take an hour each day just for you.
One of the best ways, and arguably the best way, to maintain emotional wellness is to take care of number one. However, between work, family, exercise, errands, and all of life’s complexities it can be hard to find time to slow down. This week, and hopefully every week going forward, take an hour each day to do something that makes your heart feel full.
Whether you want to take an evening stroll, play video games, meditate, exercise, or anything in between; it is crucial to take time to enjoy some time doing what you need for yourself.
What do you do to maintain emotional wellness in your daily life? Which of these five suggestions are you most excited about? Which, if any, seem challenging? Please share your thoughts in the comments below, and be sure to check out our social media pages also. I would love to hear your philosophy regarding emotional wellness. Have a great week, and be well.