Below are some tips for harnessing a healthier you and, in turn, healthier relationships. It’s this emotional intelligence that will help you to not just survive but to thrive.

Check in with your emotions regularly
Before rushing into the hectic schedule of each day, pencil in time to sit and reflect on how you feel. Your emotions give you important information. They are not something to simply ignore or push away. Your emotions will inevitably influence your conversations, behaviours, and relationships whether you notice it or not. Prior to a meeting, event or other obligation, prioritize a few minutes to honour and assess your own well-being. This could be through silent reflection, journaling or a handheld journal that helps you name, track, and better understand your emotions.

Regulate your emotions
Checking in with your emotions is one crucial piece of the emotional intelligence puzzle; you have to be able to name it to tame it. Regulating, or managing, those emotions is another. While feeling joyful or proud may not require strategies to help you stay grounded, feeling angry or burned out certainly do—and you may experience all of these emotions on any given time. Identify strategies that are sustainable and beneficial for managing your big emotions in challenging moments, such as mindful breathing, meditation or pausing your schedule to take a walk outside before a demanding situation overwhelms you. Such practices don’t actually take up much time—just a few minutes—but the benefits are evergreen.

Establish clear boundaries and stick to them
We know how hard this one can be. In an environment that constantly asks you to say “yes,” we challenge you to say “no” more often. This can look like rescheduling a meeting or extending a deadline for your colleagues so everyone has some breathing room. Leaning on emotion regulation techniques above, identify circumstances that are most emotionally taxing for you, which tasks you can delegate to others and where you can reallocate your energy for better use.

Listen with empathy and without judgment
You cannot afford to be “too busy” to listen to each other and elicit feedback in work settings. Active listening builds trust. The moment we are too overbooked to engage in authentic conversation with colleagues, we can quickly lose our emotional regulation, our boundaries and our purpose. It’s a slippery slope to devolving into unhealthy, transactional relationships.

Reflect often.
Create safe spaces or practices dedicated to self-care through self-reflection. Some use music to create a meditative environment, others close their doors to give themselves space when needed. Some take a five-minute walking meditation outside.

Nurture your relationships
The people you work with will enhance your mood or squash it and you can enhance or squash theirs. Aim to be the enhancer by greeting people with a smile, asking them how they are feeling and taking time to listen to the answer, creating opportunities for everyone’s voice to be heard, giving others a shoutout when they achieve. Investing time and energy in your relationships will make all the difference in building trust and motivation needed for others to wholeheartedly join you in making your vision a reality.

Model for others
Emotions are social and contagious components of life. When you prioritize your own emotional well-being, boundaries and interpersonal relationships, it shows and it rubs off on others. Just as annoyance or frustration from your morning meeting can spill into your afternoon check-in, so can your balance, appreciation or gratitude. In using the techniques we’ve discussed you simultaneously model for others what emotional intelligence looks like in practice to the benefit of your colleagues.