With each year we get a little bit older, but we also get wiser. With each fine line, bump, and bruise, we gain some insight into the life we want to live and the pathway to being our best selves. It’s up to us to follow the pathway to help us fall in love with life, each step of the way.
The thing is it’s far too common that as women, and moms, and business owners, and friends, and the juggler of all the crazy hats, we find ourselves too busy to really stop and make sure we have a mind-body connection. Think about it: Do you ever take a moment and just pause briefly to give yourself a minute to assess the situation you’re in and make sure your roadmap aligns with your vision? It’s in those moments that we can start to focus on our emotional health (in addition to our physical health) and create healthy habits.
Why Focus on Emotional/Mental Health?
While there is often a clear distinction between “mind” and “body,” the truth is that for optimal health and wellness, the two have to coexist. You can’t have one without the other! Did you know that stress and our emotions play a role in our immune system? That’s right. Brain activity linked to negative emotions can actually lower our immune system, leaving us susceptible to disease.
This means that our mental health is just as important as our physical health. And if we’re constantly putting ourselves in the middle of a stressful environment, we will start to feel those effects, both mentally and physically. Don’t believe me? Consider the poor physical habits we can develop when our mental health isn’t right:
- Excessive alcohol and drug use
- Lack of regular exercise (so you’re not releasing those “natural mood enhancers”)
- Poor sleep
- Several diseases: Heart disease, high blood pressure, asthma, and more
- Binge eating or emotional eating
At the same time, we can’t just flip a switch and make grand, sweeping changes. Change comes one step at a time, one foot in front of the other. How we get to the finish line probably looks different for each person, but it starts with setting emotional boundaries.
How to Set Emotional Boundaries + Fall in Love With Life
You’ve probably thought, at one point or another, about the importance of setting boundaries with other people. But guys, we also need to set boundaries with ourselves! Not sure what I mean? Here are a few ways I’ve been setting emotional boundaries.
Tune Into Your Feelings
Raise your hand if you’ve ever felt personally victimized by social media. It happens on an almost daily basis, whether you’re in the public eye or not. We often don’t realize it, but sometimes we follow accounts just for the sake of hitting that follow button. But being aware of what we’re putting in front of our eyes (and into our brains) and the access we have at our fingertips is a powerful thing. It can bring us great joy, or it can be emotionally harmful. The same goes for what we watch on television. What we’re inviting into our homes and what we allow to invade our thoughts is huge. Are the things you’re seeing leaving you feeling uplifted, or are they causing you to catch a glimpse of mean world syndrome or cultivation theory? When we’re being presented with only the highlight reels, we often find ourselves comparing a stranger’s life to our own, and most of the time, we find our life to be lacking.
I encourage you to go through your social media accounts and unfollow anyone who doesn’t leave you feeling empowered, happy, confident, or amused. If you’re constantly playing the comparison game, it may be time to hit that unfollow button or change the channel.
Find Activities That Fuel You
Fitness isn’t a one-size-fits-all kind of thing. Movement should be a celebration of your body and a way to get up and do an activity you enjoy.
- If you love to lift weights, pick up those dumbbells.
- If running is your thing, lace up those shoes.
- If yoga is your jam, namaste.
If you’re constantly using exercise as a way of punishing your body for the foods you’re eating, or obsessing over how many minutes you need to work out to lose weight, you won’t see results. Because if you’re not enjoying what you’re doing, it’s going to be hard to stay consistent. Instead, find an activity you love, and go do that thing.
Be Okay with Disappointing Others
“Daring to set boundaries is about having the courage to love ourselves, even when we risk disappointing others. We can’t base our own worthiness on others’ approval….Only when we believe, deep down, that we are enough can we say ‘Enough!’” – Brené Brown
Go ahead and read it one more time. I sure did. I was a “YES!” woman for so many years. I said yes in my relationships, in my business, and in moments that didn’t serve me. Some of those “YES!s” ended up being great blessings, and others were just one more thing on my to-do list that ended up leaving me feeling empty and unaccomplished. Learn the difference between saying “YES!” to something that will serve you and fill your bucket and being okay with saying “NO” when you know the time is right.
Set Power Promises
Once you’ve had an opportunity to explore within yourself what you like, what you dislike, and what sets you on fire (free from any outside opinions), set some Power Promises with yourself. These are the promises that mean something to YOU. Something you know will get you closer to a goal or will fill your bucket. It can be as simple as making your bed first thing in the morning because it leaves you feeling accomplished, or it could be dedicating as few as 5 minutes to yourself daily to meditate, pray, journal, or relax. Whatever your Power Promise is, make sure it follows one very important rule: It serves you, and only you.
It’s not always easy identifying or setting boundaries, but it’s so essential for our overall well-being. We’ve all been through the ringer over the last year, so let’s make a Power Promise to ourselves right now that 2021 is going to be the year we put our names a little higher on our list.
Prioritize YOU: Why Work/Life Balance Matters in 2021
Busy Mom Power Promises for Transformation Success
5 Steps to a Powerful, No Fail, New Year…and Beyond
Sharpen the Saw || Unplug and plug IN to LIFE!
Life Lessons Learned | Developing Integrity, Learning to Love Yourself, and Setting Boundaries