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Honoring Your Emotional Needs

Have you stopped to ask yourself how you're feeling lately?

I'm going to be honest. I've been feeling emotionally drained. The feeling is completely valid as there is so much heartache in the world right now. The racial injustice and police brutality that has taken place are horrific. And let's throw some COVID-19 on top of it.

At the same time, I've allowed what I'm viewing in the media to overly consume my mind--to consume my life. I've been solely focused on the contention taking place in the world, and it's brought me to a place emotionally that isn't helpful or productive.

Now, I'm not saying you shouldn't feel upset about what is going on in the world. I'm also not saying that you should ignore what is going on.

What I am saying is that you can take care of your own emotional health and still fight against racial injustice and police brutality. While it is your responsibility to stand for equality for all humanity, it is also your responsibility to care for your core emotional needs. And only you can do that.

You can't pour from an empty bucket. If you're not showing yourself love by having moments of mindfulness in your life--times when you turn the noise off and reconnect with your feelings--you ultimately won't be able to contribute to the world in the way you want to.

When you are feeling emotionally drained it is often because you are reacting to your life instead of acting.

But you don't need to react. You can choose how much time you spend viewing or listening to the media. You can choose how much you consume.

You can choose how much headspace you're giving to your worries and fears.

I'm not saying to keep your head in the sand and just blissfully ignore the reality of the pain that is taking place in the world.

But just like cars need routine maintenance to perform at optimum performance, so does your mental and emotional health.

So, what are some ways you can care for your emotional needs at this time? The best thing you can do is ask yourself what you need individually. But these are some of the things that have helped me:

  • Turn off your phone and spend time in nature

  • Say a prayer

  • Write down your innermost thoughts and feelings and validate them

  • Exercise (this has been my saving grace)

  • Find five things you're grateful for

  • Write a loving letter to yourself

  • Remind yourself that many people are doing the best they can with what they have

Taking the time to care for your emotional needs will make you a better friend, neighbor, citizen, and advocate for change.

Sending lots of love to all of you who are hurting at this time.

Photo by Morgan Blake

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