How do you keep from getting sick?
How do you keep your house clean?
How do you keep our job?
You protect your health, your home, and your hours at work. You protect.
You take vitamins to protect your immune system. You protect your floors by not wearing shoes in the house and scheduling time to sweep after meals. You don’t call random friends or research home-improvement while at work to protect the security of your job.
So, how do you keep yourself from an emotional break down?
How do you keep yourself emotionally tidy?
You protect yourself from emotional compromise. Here are my 5 secrets to preserving emotional stability:
I’m careful to get enough sleep. When I’m tired the smallest things make me come unglued. You can look at me wrong and I’ll burst into tears. Or, you can ask me what time it is and I’ll hear it as an accusation of some sort. Getting enough sleep allows me to think clearly and make calculated response, so I work hard to have all my activities end by seven or eight in the evening so that I have the opportunity to go to bed by nine. I also don’t deny myself a nap if I’m draggin in the afternoon.
When I’m pressed to capacity barely making it to each activity in my day I’m stressed. I don’t want anyone to talk to me and if something doesn’t go my way it’s, basically, the end of the world. Adding margin to my life gives me time to think of others and think of what to do next. But having margin takes a lot of self control. I have to be careful what I say yes to, I spread out my activities throughout the week, instead of stacking them all on one day, and I sneak thirty minutes to an hour of transition time between everything, whenever possible.
- Draw a Line
Know when enough is enough. Often times, I’m compromised a little bit emotionally but I don’t notice until the next day when I cry and drink three cups of coffee. Having a boundary is like putting an electric fence around your house for your dog. Your dog knows that if they go any further they will get shocked. Drawing a line puts an emotional fence around yourself, when you hit it you know that going further will hurt you.
What do you do when you hit the fence or you get hurt and eat five snickers? When I’m in emotional breakdown I can’t think. So, when I can think I make a list of at least five things I know I can do to put me back into action: sleep, journaling, read a book, coffee date with a friend, workout. These are my de-stressers. Having a plan saves you from having to ditch your life for a couple of days to regain your emotional sanity and it saves the emotions of the ones you love.
Enjoying moments in life is huge to maintaining emotional integrity. When I’m always plowing through life I hate my life. When I hate my life I think bad thoughts. When I think bad thoughts I have bad emotions. When I have bad emotions I’m just plain mean. But! When I enjoy my life, even the tough moments, I love my life. When I love my life I think good thoughts. When I think good thoughts I have good emotions. When I have good emotions I’m cheerful and cute! Enjoying life has a lot to do with margin.
Today, make sure you get enough sleep. As you make your schedule for tomorrow give yourself margin and space to breath. Draw a line in the sand and make plan of what you’re going to do when you get close to the line or cross the line. Finally, enjoy! Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy. Life only happens once, don’t let your emotions steal the integrity and stability of your life!
PC: Mary Grace Baker