Emotional wellbeing is an area of many people’s lives that can too easily be set aside in the humdrum of daily life until an emotional crisis arises. In many cases, emotions experienced during a crisis include unresolved emotions from the past. Processing these past negative emotions is good emotional hygiene and can help you face new challenges in your life with greater energy and awareness. Here are some creative ways to maintain optimal emotional hygiene and receive the emotional support you need.

Care About Yourself

As selfish as it may sound, self-care is accepted more and more as anything but selfish nowadays. Having time to properly exercise, sleep, and nourish your body with healthy food every day is integral to balanced emotions.

No matter your work and home situation, finding a way to carve daily exercise, even just a short walk, into your day is excellent for not only your physical health but also for your emotional health. Exercise releases biochemicals in the body that lead to positive feelings and reduces stress-causing factors in the body such as cortisol. Whether you workout to your limit and sweat profusely or just take a gentle walk or yoga class, regularity rather than intensity is the key when it comes to emotional maintenance.

When we sleep our bodies do an amazing amount of processing and healing, and this includes at a mental and emotional level. Allowing yourself the time your body needs to rest and sleep promotes greater emotional wellbeing. In fact, if you are not getting enough sleep this can actually lead to irritability and erratic emotions. Create a relaxing environment in your bedroom that promotes excellent sleep: reduce clutter, include some air-filtering indoor plants, and diffuse sleep-promoting essential oils that would make essential oil guru D Gary Young proud.

When it comes to eating, try a whole foods diet as much as possible. Eating less processed and refined foods will increase your energy and improve mood dramatically. Toxins in the body from poor diet can lead to anxiety, hormonal imbalances, brain fog, and other emotional issues. That said, doing a simple dietary cleanse or detox to help clear toxic buildup out of your body is a great way to kick off better emotional support for yourself.

Nourish Friendship and Community

You may have a strong network of friends and family around you already, but for some people this is not the case due to moving, choosing a different lifestyle (e.g., leaving a church community), or a number of other factors. Finding your new friend group and community in situations like these can be challenging. Meeting new friends through common work, interests, and activities is common. So, be sure to join common interest groups in your area. Think about volunteer work you may enjoy in your area that would allow people to connect with you as well. Some areas have sports clubs like tennis, swimming, cycling, and hiking groups that allow you to meet up with individuals in a fun and playful way that promotes good health while also fostering healthy emotional connections.

Give Yourself a Good Timeout

Timeouts have a pretty negative reputation, but taking time to actually clear the calendar and engage in nothing at all is a very healthy break for your body, mind, and emotions. Use such time for unplanned activities.

Being spontaneous and playful once in a while is very good for your emotional health. If you have young children in your life, they are usually naturally great at being spontaneous and playful. Take some time to let them remind you how to drop everything and play in this way. If you do not have young children in your life, you may want to consider becoming a mentor to a young child through a program like Big Brothers Big Sisters.

Dealing with your emotions in a healthy way is key to living a happy and fulfilling life.