There are many ways you can build a strong support system.
Strengthen the relationships you have with the people that are close to you (family, church, work) and also broaden your networks in your community. It is also very important to seek support from others if you need it.
Spirituality: While people use different paths to express their spirituality, research has shown that spirituality plays a major role in emotional wellbeing. Spiritual wellness acknowledges our search for deeper meaning in life and is reflected when our actions become consistent with our values and beliefs. For example, prayers and meditation can help you to become grounded and feel more hopeful and inspired. Regardless of our religious affiliations, it is important for us to identify safe spiritual spaces that are both helpful and meaningful to us.
Remain positive/ optimistic: Positive thinking helps with stress management and can help improve your overall wellness. Some studies have shown that personality traits like optimism play a key role in lowering stress levels and can help to support and promote positive coping skills. Positive thinking can help to instill hope, while expanding our awareness and openness to change. The more hopeful we are, the less likely we are to remain stressed or overwhelmed about the current events.
Connecting with others: It is very important to build a strong connection with others during difficult times. Nurturing our relationships can help us to feel validated, happier, and even more secure. A good support system helps to build a sense of belonging and self-worth.
Taking care of your physical health: There is a very close relationship between our physical health and emotional wellbeing. Poor emotional health can negatively impact your body’s immune system and overall health and vice versa. To have good emotional health, it is important to take care of your body. Certain lifestyle changes like diet, exercise, improved sleep, avoiding drugs/ alcohol can help to promote both our physical and emotional wellbeing. If you have any medical challenges, it is important to follow your doctor’s recommendations by taking your medications or keeping doctor’s appointments.
Maintain a balanced life: A well-balanced life is essential for emotional wellness. It is important that you take care of yourself, know what your priorities are, stay organized and create a schedule that works for you. Living a balanced life also involves maintaining healthy boundaries regarding your family and work-related tasks and responsibilities. It also involves setting realistic goals and expectations. Accept that there are things you cannot control and use your power to change what you can.
Reestablish your sense of purpose and meaning: The recent events have disrupted our lives significantly. Many people are experiencing an existential crisis where they continue to question whether their lives have meaning, purpose or value. Many people are struggling in many areas of their lives, including finances, lack of support and also inability to maintain healthy relationships. As we continue to adopt to our new circumstances and realities, it is important for us to redefine our sense of meaning and purpose so that we do not lose hope and focus. This is a good time to engage in self-reflection, listening to others, and reminding yourself what your purpose in this world is. It is also a good time to focus on what really matters to you, while trying to identify ways in which you can support yourself to reach your optimal levels.
In conclusion, emotional wellness is critical to our overall wellbeing. We are living in difficult times, and it is very important to stay tuned or in touch with our emotions and feelings of vulnerability. Keep in mind that having emotional wellness does not mean you are always happy or free from negative emotions. It means that you can identify or name your emotions, (both positive and negative), and you can also develop habits or patterns that can help you to develop healthy coping skills. Emotional wellness inspires your sense of self-care, helps to reduce stress, and help you to develop inner strength. By paying attention to your emotional wellness, you can remain balanced, make better decisions, and approach life with optimism.
Dr. Pauline Waweru. Psychotherapist, Kennesaw Georgia