We all know the importance of physical fitness and how it impacts our health. During the pandemic, most of us valued the importance of getting outside for simple walks and staying active. When we are physically fit, we enjoy the ability to live, move and play with a level of freedom and endurance that feeds both the body and the mind.
This year we also saw an increase dialogue around mental health and we were encouraged to reach out and ask for help when needed. When we are mentally fit, we are able to be in touch with ourselves, connect with others and maintain a level of equilibrium in our moods, thoughts and feelings. Neglecting mental health can make you less resilient to life’s ups and downs. Something we can all identify with this year.
Good physical fitness prepares the body for moving during long periods of time when it is required for physical endurance activities. Have you ever considered how our mental health can contribute or impede us during the times that require longer sustained emotional endurance?
Just as there are important key components of physical health (strength, flexibility, healthy weight, cardiovascular endurance), there are also key components to mental health and ways to improve our emotional endurance with practice.
Emotional - This includes building your self-acceptance, self-esteem, resilience and the ability to manage strong emotions. Consider leaning into a breathing practice, a meditation practice, journaling, or talk therapy. Be aware of when you are in flow states, or times of ease. Notice when you are not.
What daily practices or routines allow you to spend more time in your flow states?
What are your dams or blocks that interrupt your flow states?
Social - If we took social interaction for granted before the pandemic, I think it is safe to say most of us now acknowledge how important social interactions are for our mental health and they are crucially important during periods that require emotional endurance. Our social networks bring companionship, support and enrichment to our lives. To prepare for periods that require emotional endurance, we can do a few things now.
- Become a member of a local interest group or social networks outside of our homes
- Improve the skills required to keep us connected and functioning online
- Create a buddy system of sorts, to help keep you accountable in the ways that you need support.
Financial - Financial wellness is not about having a certain amount of money, but it is feeling in control of your finances and being able to handle financial setbacks. Financial stress can be the trigger for mental stress and will deplete our emotional endurance when we need it most.
Improve your confidence in this area by seeking advice from professionals on ways to achieve your financial goals and create a financial plan to support you when you feel vulnerable.
Physical - Mental and physical health are intertwined. You can improve your physical and mental endurance through healthy eating, regular movement, a healthy sleep routine, creating meaningful support networks and establishing healthy regular habits.
Healthy small steps can be made each day to build a stronger emotional response in the times when we need rely on our endurance muscles. Life is a constant of peaks and valleys. Regularly tending to our physical and mental health is time well spent today, in preparation for our tomorrows.