Emotional Wellness: Tools and Resources
I finished my first emotional wellness post by telling people to take to Google. After the post went up on the blog, I realized that’s not always the best thing to do. Google is awesome, don’t get me wrong, but there’s also a ton of garbage on the internet.
I’m all about resourcefulness and utilizing tools available. I also think it’s important to research your sources. Anyone and everyone can post something on the internet. Heck, here I am writing about emotional wellness again! A Google search on emotional wellness just gave me 343,000,000 results. Overwhelming? YUP! Obviously the most relevant results show first, but that doesn’t mean they’re the most credible. This post captures a couple webpages, journal articles, and/or tools that I think are a good asset if you’re working to improve your emotional wellness.
What kind of tools are you talking about?
As I was researching emotional wellness for my first post, I came across a website that I thought was very helpful. National Institutes of Health defines emotional wellness as “the ability to successfully handle life’s stresses and adapt to change and difficult times.” They provide an emotional wellness toolkit with six strategies for improving your emotional health. There are flip cards with information about each strategy and steps for improving your skills within each strategy. They even have a handy dandy printer-friendly version of the page so you can see the strategies and tips laid out on two pages. I’m pretty sure I need to print this out and glue it to my hands so I can reference it at all times!
But how do I know if I need to work on my emotional wellness?
Good question! The University of California, Riverside has a very easy quiz to help with this question.
Am I able to maintain a balance of work, family, friends, and other obligations?
Do I have ways to reduce stress in my life?
Am I able to make decisions with a minimum of stress and worry?
Am I able to set priorities?
A “no” answer to any of the above questions is a sign you may need to improve the state of your emotional wellness.
Okay, so I need to remove all stress from my life and then I’m good?
Not so fast. According to American Nurses Today, the journal for the American Nurses Association, “stress, when well managed, can help you grow and build resilience, just like exercise helps build muscles.” Stress is a normal part of life! Having coping strategies in place will help us reduce stress when it arises instead of allowing it to spiral out of control. The American Nurses Today article is a bit longer read, but it’s full of information should you want to learn different ways to manage stress. The authors cover cognitive-behavioral skills, trigger recognition, practice suggestions, and over 10 additional coping strategies!
Personally, I think the most important takeaway from emotional wellness is knowing that it is okay to get help. At Love Your Buns we often talk about the stigma surrounding rectal cancer, and emotional wellness can be the same way. No one wants to admit they’re struggling but it’s nothing to be ashamed of! Life is hard!! Thankfully there are professionals who want to help you be your best self. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by your emotions and can’t get yourself back on track on your own, talk to a mental health professional. It’s scary – trust me, I went through this myself so I’m speaking from personal experience – but it gets better. At the very least, talk to a close friend or family member. You don’t need to ride the Hot Mess Express alone!!!
Reflection: Look through all the emotional coping strategies in the American Nurses Today article. Which seems like something you can incorporate into your daily life?