FILL YOUR EMOTIONAL CUP
There is no doubt that the last few years have taken their emotional toll on many of us.
With 2023 just around the corner, now is the time to reflect on our emotional well-being and take the necessary steps to improve upon it in the new year.
In this blog, we look at some useful ways to understand our EQ, avoid our cups from becoming empty and explore ways to prioritise our self-care.
UNDERSTANDING YOUR EQ
Emotional intelligence is the ability to recognize your emotions, understand what they're telling you, and realize how your emotions affect people around you. It also involves your perception of others: understanding how they feel allows you to manage relationships more effectively.
Your emotional intelligence forms the base on which your performance in your personal and work life will play out, so keeping it healthy is of the utmost importance.
Improve your EQ by
1. Being emotionally aware. Practice observing how certain situations make you feel and how you respond to them.
2. Being self-aware. Notice when you’re running on empty and don’t feel guilty for taking a time out. Often emotional breakdowns occur when we’re pushing ourselves too hard and not giving ourselves time to process.
3. Practising empathy. No matter what you’re going through, take the time to also consider that someone else’s reaction to you might be a result of their situation. Whilst behaving rudely is not an excuse, how you choose to react to them will make you feel better.
DOWN BUT NOT OUT
Life can often seem like it’s out to get us and we often hear the phrase ‘it’s a bad day, not a bad life. You might feel overwhelmed and panicky and this is because you’re not taking the time to fill your emotional cup before attending to the needs of others.
When you feel depleted and mentally and physically exhausted, this is your sign that your cup needs filling. Your phone cannot run when the battery is flat and neither can you.
Here are some practical ways to rejuvenate and fill your cup.
- Find an activity that gets your heart rate up in a healthy way and brings you joy. Go for a long walk with your dogs, swim, play tennis, and do some yoga. Break a sweat.
- Turn off your phone and have a social media-free day. Spend a whole day attending only to your needs. Read your favourite book, watch your favourite movie, have a massage, or write something by hand. Eliminate interruptions from colleagues, family and friends by letting them know you will be off the grid for a while, provide an alternative contact in case of emergencies and simply try to switch off.
- If solitude is not for you, spend time with someone you love. Whether it be a family member or friend, organise a day out doing something you enjoy doing. Make a ‘no complaints’ pact before setting out. Avoid talking about work, other people or negative things and just enjoy each other’s company.-
As with our fitness and nutrition requirements, practising self-care is not a once-off thing. Filling your cup is not going to happen in one day, so it is better to try to avoid letting it get empty in the first place.
Putting a sustainable self-care routine in place to protect your mental health should be right up there on your list of health priorities.
Luckily, many self-care practises have incredible benefits to your physical and mental health simultaneously, so as long as you are making the time you will achieve holistically healthy results.
- Start by getting enough sleep. A lack of sleep can play havoc with your physical health (as this is the time your body uses to regenerate), but trying to function mentally when you’re cutting out sleep hours will affect your ability to focus, decrease your productivity and damage your EQ.
- Get active. You can take as little as ten minutes every day to move your body. Eliminate distractions such as TVs and cell phones and be in the moment. Pay attention to what your body is doing and focus on your breathing.
- Be mindful of what you eat. Although chocolate does seem to fix most of life’s problems, it only does so temporarily as it boosts your dopamine. This is not a sustainable fix. By incorporating fresh, nutritious food into your daily intake, you will feel more energised and focused for longer periods. Fuel your body to avoid fatigue.
Remember, even though you think you can do it all, you do not have to. The best gift you can give your family and friends is a healthy YOU. The most productive thing you can do for your workload is being rested and focused enough to do it correctly without panic.
Surround yourself with people who add to your emotional cup and don’t simply drain it.
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