Living in a society that is so vocal about the importance of healthy living, one would think that the emotional side of this “healthy living” would take up the same volume of vocal space. Sadly, however, it seems to me that many people are concerned with being physically healthy (being thin enough, pretty enough, etc. spending thousands on plastic surgery, botox, hair, nails, clothes, etc.), while ignoring the value of being emotionally healthy. Now I’m not saying that looking after your body is bad – of course not – it is imperative! But I am saying that I think that there should be a more holistic view of what “healthy living” means.
After all, who really cares if you look pretty while being a narcissistic psychopath… (ok, maybe that’s a little dramatic, but I think you catch my drift). I guess what I’m trying to say, albeit a little clumsily, is that looking after the physical aspect of our well-being is just no more important than looking after the emotional aspect.
But how do we do this? It’s relatively easy to look after ourselves physically, right? We can adjust our diets, take on a new exercise program, adopt a more active hobby, the options are myriad… But what do we do in order to improve our emotional health?
This post is an exploration of that very question…
Now granted, I’m not very good at following advice that says; “30 days to be a better this”, or “the 101 of improved that”. Actually, after the first 3 days I’d MOST probably lose interest… I have before… That is definitely a character flaw of mine, I’ll admit it. Anyway, this got me thinking. How can we emotionally “revive” ourselves in just 7 days… Yup, 7 days! So I thought I would try this myself and see if it works…
7 Day Emotional Detox
Day 1. Get up & Get out
This could be any number of things. The important thing is that you personalize it for yourself. For me, I need to remind myself to exercise. Whether it be running around the garden with my kids, going for a walk, or getting out of my p’j’s so that I can meet another mom for a play date! Physically getting ourselves dressed and ready for the day can do wonders for our sense of self-worth. This could also be getting out to try something new, a haircut, a theme park, or a 10K run. It’s about the “getting up and out” part. Do this every day for a week and you will be on the road to an emotionally “healthier” self.
Day 2. Let it Go – Get rid of the Worry
When I read this step I see myself all dressed to the nines, (after releasing some adrenaline with the Day 1 program). Like Elsa, running up a snow covered mountain belting out LET IT GO at the top of my voice. Who cares what people think, you will feel better afterwards… Trust me… The realization that sometimes things are out of our control is a vital step. We sadly cannot change the world, we can definitely make an effort, but worry just steals the joy from right under you. Forget about the things you cannot change, focus on the positive and move forward!
Day 3. Moving on up
By focusing on the positive it is easier to forget about the negative. Look for the positive things in your life, every day. For some of us, these might seem really small and insignificant in the beginning, but the more we focus on them, the bigger they become. The more we invest in these things, the more important we realize they are. Thus giving us a sense of self-worth, of belonging to something more than ourselves.
Day 4. Cut the cord
This is a hard one, I kid you not. But sometimes we just have to be strong enough to make the decision to remove ourselves from those toxic relationships that we know are unhealthy. The relationships that keep draining our energy and joy, without really adding any meaningful value. Sadly there are many emotional vampires in this world. And try as we might, we can’t always help them and sacrifice ourselves. We need to “rip off the band-aid” and make a choice to move forward (Day 2).
Day 5. De-clutter our online life
We tend to live our lives in response to the short “highlight” reels of our friends’ Social Media posts. Hoping that our reality will come to resemble what we see (and sometimes post) on these platforms… We see these beautiful family photo’s, exotic holidays, fancy cars, and latest fashions, and we think to ourselves; Man my life sucks, if only I can get some of this for myself! This is a sad place to be. In my opinion it can cause a deep depression that, if not dealt with, can lead to some very desperate situations. Social Media can be the venom that eats away at the lives we live by making us think that our lives are insignificant; but it is probably very beautiful! So delete those friends that aren’t healthy, erase the phone numbers of those emotional vampires, and close the email list of people that drain you. Even if just for a little while. Choose your own life over someone else’s.
Day 6. Do what you love
I have spoken about this before… Sometimes we get so caught up in our daily routines that we put what needs to be done before what we would LOVE to do. Of course we need to sometimes just put our heads down and get things done. But not always! This may mean that we actually need to sit down and physically write out a Bucket List of short term dreams and long term wishes. It’s important to do what you love. It gives you a sense of accomplishment.
Day 7. Be thankful, Grateful.
I think this is the most important day. Be thankful, grateful, for the people we love and the things we have. There is always someone, somewhere, who has less than us! Whom we could help. Just having clothes on our backs, food in our stomachs, and a roof over our heads is more than most. Add in our beautiful families and friends… wow! It’s like catching the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. And seeing our lives in the light of this broader narrative helps us to keep a more balanced perspective and to stay emotionally healthy.
I believe that if we can follow this 7 day plan… Just 1 week… we will be feeling emotionally lighter. Maybe physically too 🙂
Who’s joining me? I would love to hear about your experience!