Over the last two years, we’ve experienced a LOT of loss. Collectively, we’ve experienced COVID-related deaths, isolation, the postponement or cancellation of weddings, graduations, cultural and sporting events, and school functions. We’ve lost more than even that; we’ve laid to rest some of our dreams, hopes, and expectations for our lives, as well. We’re enduring a collective, cultural trauma, despite our best laid plans and intentions. Being an emotionally healthy person means that you are mindful of both cultivating a positive mood and a balance between you directing your mood and your mood directing you. Emotional self care is made up of the habits we practice with intention to tend to our mood.
Mood is a powerful thing. For example, when we oversleep and hit every red light on the way to work, everything else that happens over the course of the day is tinted by that bad mood. …unless, we make a decision to notice the stress or anxiety or frustration that bubbles up in those situations, and make a choice to respond to those triggers instead of reacting to them. That is much easier said than done, especially when we are hungry or tired or experiencing compassion fatigue or any number of drains.
Here is a simple acronym to support us in connecting the trigger to our response in a more mindful, meaningful way.
Stop. Press pause. “Freezing” is actually one normal response of your autonomic nervous system.
Take a moment to choose a response instead of simply reacting, as your emotions may be trying to “be the boss of you.”
Observe. Notice what emotion is bubbling up and the meaning you’re assigning to it. What about the situation is triggering? What is the story you’re telling yourself? How do you feel about it?
Proceed mindfully. Consider your thoughts and emotions before choosing a course of action and response.
Next Sunday, we'll discuss some easy-peasy habits for self-soothing.
Effective self care is a plan comprised of awareness, education, and daily practice. Subscribe to our blog or connect on social media for more self care info and tools to support your self care practice.