Are You Taking Your Emotional Vitamins?

I was chatting with a brilliant friend the other day, extremely distinguished in her field of mental health and organizational psychology, and as we were laughing about our “life whoas”, we came up with the term “emotional vitamins”. What are the vitamins you take to maintain a healthy balance of your emotions? At times we are all going into the eye of the storm of places and people that test our emotions, and need to keep our immunity up. We take vitamins to keep the physical immunity up so we don’t catch a cold, but what do we take for our minds? Some swear by herbal supplements and oils, jolt of Vitamin D from the sun does a mind and body good. What do you do to keep your emotional immunity up?

For some, the benefits of exercise, sleep, healthy eating, meditation are great mind body equalizers. I know when I don’t work out my mind gets “wonky”, that’s the clinical term. I heard a NOVA special on marathon running years ago (like 15ish) and one thing that stuck with me was a psychiatrist saying that running just 8 minutes releases the same endorphins as taking a Prozac. This concept has helped me get up and go for a 1 mile run, when my physical body is not wanting to be a half marathon runner any longer. Today (literally today) it helped. I weaned off my anti anxiety medication about 8 months ago (in hindsight probably not the best timing with starting a new career, going through a life changing move, and the COVID home thing… but whatever). Staying physically active has been the game changer in helping me maintain stability. My Peloton is in storage so I had to talk myself back into running. It was hard… not just the physical aspect of it, but the part that I told myself if I wasn’t training for a half marathon, running at least 6 miles every time I went out, then it wasn’t worth it… Uh hello! That doesn’t make sense… so I reminded myself of that NOVA special and said “1 mile is better than 0”, and poof, game changing reframing.

Most of my therapists (and I’ve had 4 over the years) have encouraged me to journal. Get all that rumination out on paper. When you see it out there and re-read it, it demystifies everything going on in the head. I admit, I am inconsistent and have not successfully put a sustainable practice into action. BUT, it is why I LOVE this blog. I thank you for granting me the space and encouragement to share myself and get my thoughts out on ‘paper’. It has really helped me purge what I am pondering or struggling with by being able to write in what hopefully is a structured, authentic, positive, action oriented manner. My hope with this blog is 1) selfish, see above, but 2) whatever I write spurs thoughts and dialogue for those who read. Not to be right, or an expert, but to generate a discussion (internally or externally).

To exist is to change, to change is to mature, to mature is to go on creating oneself endlessly. ~Henri Bergson

Published by rachaelsarahgass

Working mom, wife, friend, sister, organizational psychologist, learner, coach. Kindness Counts. People First. Integrity Always.

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