Chances are good that you have a well-established physical hygiene practice. You take care of yourself in order to maintain your health. You wear clean socks, bathe regularly, and brush your teeth every day because you know that these regular practices and habits will prevent discomfort and disease over time. You like to feel good so you take care of your body.
Here’s the question: are you paying as close of attention to your emotional hygiene? Just as ignoring dental hygiene will eventually lead to painful periodontal disease, ignoring your mental-emotional hygiene will eventually lead to painful emotional disease and discomfort. You want to feel good. Why not prioritize your emotional health with a regular practice for wellbeing?
There are a few simple things that you can implement on a daily basis to maintain your emotional wellbeing. Here are some ideas:
A daily meditation practice has proven, far-reaching benefits for your overall state of wellbeing. Take just ten minutes in the morning to set the tone for your entire day. Slowing your mind down and focusing on the present moment is like a deep cleanse for your thoughts. Paying attention to your heart and how you feel is nurturing and at the core of any emotional hygiene practice. Meditation is a practice of self-love. Find the time to be still.
Taking just a moment each day to stop and appreciate all of the good in your life is like popping vitamins for your soul. It doesn’t take long to do and once you get the hang of it you will find that you start noticing things to appreciate more and more frequently. What a great way to care for your emotional wellbeing.
To get started, link appreciation to a task you already do. Before each meal you could take just a moment to be grateful. Practice appreciate before you get out of bed in the morning. Day dream about everything you appreciate in your life while brushing your teeth – like a double dose of daily hygiene. Give it a try and notice the difference it makes in your life.
You can think of self-empathy as emotional first aid. You know it’s important to care for a physical wound when you get one, but do you ever stop to tend to your emotional wounds. Ignoring an emotional hurt or upset will allow it to fester. The next time you get an emotional scrape, such as disappointment, rejection, or failure, take a moment to attend to that hurt and care for yourself.
Try having compassion and understanding for yourself. Take a moment to recognize and acknowledge the pain. Be there for yourself and nurture the part of you that is hurting. Love on yourself a little with encouraging thoughts rather than berating yourself. It may help to reach out and practice empathy or forgiveness for others involved in the situation.
Make your emotional wellbeing a priority by creating daily habits that result in the prevention of disease and discomfort. Try the above ideas or come up with your own. What would help you care for yourself today? A dance party? A good belly laugh with your best friend? Going on a hike through wildflowers? Feed your soul with daily action.