by Ashley Barber on May 2, 2022
Mental Health Awareness: Emotional Money
As we all know, mental health has been getting a lot more attention over the past 5 years, especially post 2020. And yes, it’s true, if you weren’t suffering from some kind of mental stress before the pandemic, you are now lol. Or maybe not, and in which case you can count yourself among the lucky! One of the fun gifts I received from the pandemic was anxiety. Truthfully, I didn’t really consider anxiety to be a “mental illness”, but through a little therapy and research my eyes were opened. Some of my friends would talk about their anxiety, but it just didn’t seem that bad. I had no idea how crippling anxiety could be. There were times I had panic attacks followed closely by depression for having a panic attack and thinking I was being a burden, and the cycle continued. I felt like I was constantly swimming to the surface for air, but each time I got close, something pulled me down. At one point, I started explaining it as a person sitting in the passenger seat of the car and as we are traveling along the road, the passenger suddenly grabs the wheel and tries to start driving the car… scary right!?
The best realization I made is that you can’t pour from an empty cup. Of course I’m sure you have heard that before, but let’s really understand what it means.
You only have one cup, your cup, and it’s filled to the brim with all of your energy or emotions. When you give someone your time, you are pouring out of your cup and into theirs. Essentially, you are spending your emotional money. Think about it this way; if you have $100 of emotional money for the day, and every time you stressed about a situation, got angry or upset, you had to spend some of that money. You would be a little more careful with how you spend it, wouldn’t you? So when someone pulls out in front of you on your way into work, you have a choice to make. Do I engage this person and tell them exactly what I think about them for $20 of emotional money? Or do I make the choice to ignore it and save my $20 for something else? Once you put a money value on your time, emotions, etc, you’ll start to be more conscientious of who you give your money to and how much you are willing to spend.
The difficult part comes when it is time to fill your own cup. Do something that brings you joy. Make sure to get a good night’s sleep. Listen to your favorite music at an unnecessary volume. Bring a smile to someone’s face. If you let your cup run too low, and continue to pour from it, you’ll find yourself burnt out and not the happiest you that you can be.
Spend your emotional money wisely. After all, it is your money!
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