For multiple reasons March is a month of reflection. It wraps up the first quarter of the year, it’s the transition from winter to spring, and not only is it Women’s History Month, it’s also Blood Clot Awareness Month. As a blood clot survivor, I use this time of year as an opportunity to talk about and prioritize our health. This week in particular, I want to explore our emotional health.
Whether we are conscious of it or not, our emotional health bleeds into every aspect of our lives. What we do and don’t do is often because of a deeper emotional root. In fact, I saw a post on Instagram that highlighted reasons behind our procrastination. It’s not that we are procrastinators; it may be that we are avoidant because of fear, hesitant because of potential judgment, stagnant because of reluctance to change, overwhelmed due to uncertainty, or delayed as a result of exhaustion. That said, when we don’t take time to check in with ourselves, it becomes difficult to identify and address the root. Here are three things we can do to check in emotionally.
#1: Assess where you are
We are three months into 2022, and many of us started the year with goals and focus areas. Reflect on those by journaling about the following. What have you accomplished so far? Be sure to consider the day to day things like keeping your space clean and showing up with intention. Celebrate that. Where have you fallen short of your goals and areas of focus? Why is this? What were your obstacles and distractions?
Now this is where it gets real. To use myself as an example, I fell short of some publishing goals. On the surface it’s easy to excuse and accept this because I am working on a major community project which has definitely consumed my time. That’s real, and I give myself grace for not “getting it all done.” At the same time, I must also admit that because the publishing goals come with uncertainty and research, I don’t have the alacrity to dive into those tasks. Therefore, it’s easier for me to knock out community tasks often and to allow the community project to take over my time. I need more intention behind my publishing goals because of my emotional resistance to the unknown. Where is resistance showing up for you? Why might that be?
#2 Identify what you need
Being able to name what you want and need is essential to changing your situation. Do you need to establish time to complete what you say you want to do? One thing I like to do, which I need to apply to my publishing goals, is to start the day with sacred time. I don’t do anything for anyone else until I do something for myself. That means starting the day with my grounding spiritual practice then working on a personal goal (like knocking out this blog or cleaning a room in the house). Establishing this “me first” boundary is what keeps me grounded and what helped me finish my last manuscript (which you all will get to see when I handle my publishing tasks). What’s a boundary you need to set?
Beyond your actions, what are the emotional or tangible needs you have? What can be done to address those in a healthy, fulfilling, and productive way? Name it and move on it. Change comes when we act on what we know.
#3 Encourage yourself
I’m learning more and more that tending to our emotional health is a daily task. We may be good today, and find ourselves in a similar space three weeks from now when we get hit by one of life’s curveballs. That’s okay; it’s normal. Because it’s normal, we need maintenance checks and ongoing encouragement. To help with this I suggest writing a letter to yourself. (Trust me. I did this myself, revisited it the other day, and really felt encouraged.) In your letter, celebrate and extend grace & acknowledgment for where you are and also give yourself an encouraging push to adjust accordingly for the second quarter of this year. Be gentle yet firm with your word choice and write as if you are supporting a friend. Put this in a place where you’ll see it on occasion, and revisit it as often as you need to remind yourself of your commitments and wins.
Feel free to drop a comment below with revelations from your check-in!