While #selfcaresunday might be a trending hashtag on social media, events over the last few years have shown us there’s a whole lot more to self-care than a bubble bath and a glass of wine.
We’re starting to realize that our self-care practice needs to be multifaceted and include things like emotional self-care, and we need to be doing this on a regular basis.
What Is Emotional Self-Care?
When we think of taking care of ourselves, we often think of physical self-care, like eating healthy foods and exercising regularly.
However, emotional self-care is just as important for our overall well-being.
The first step is knowing what emotional self-care is and understanding why you need it.
Emotional self-care involves anything that we do to nurture our mental and emotional health, and can influence many aspects of our life.
This can include practices like meditation, journaling, and spending time in nature. It can also involve reaching out to our loved ones for support, or seeking professional help if we’re struggling.
Investing in our emotional health is an essential part of living a happy and fulfilling life.
A big part of emotional self-care is learning how to identify emotional triggers and negative emotions we are experiencing, and taking some time to sit with and understand these uncomfortable emotions.
11 Examples Of Emotional Self-Care Exercises
Everyone has different needs when it comes to emotional self-care, but there are some common activities that can help to boost your mood and improve your wellbeing.
1 – Meditation & Deep Breathing
The simple act of taking a deep breath can have such an incredible impact on our emotional state.
When we’re feeling overwhelmed or stressed, our breathing becomes shallow and our heart rate increases.
Meditation and deep breathing can help to slow down our heart rate and calm our nervous system. This allows us to think more clearly and connect with the emotions we are feeling in the present moment.
2 – Mindfulness Exercises
Mindfulness exercises are a great way to focus on the present moment and become more aware of our thoughts and feelings.
There are many different mindfulness activities that you can try, but some simple examples include:
– Sitting in silence for 5 minutes and focusing on your breath
– Noticing the sounds around you as you go about your day
– Eating a meal mindfully, paying attention to the taste, texture, and smell of your food
– Taking a few minutes to appreciate the things you’re grateful for each day
3 – Spending Time In Nature
There is something about nature that has the power to heal and rejuvenate us.
Studies have shown that spending time in nature can lower levels of stress hormones, improve our mood, and boost our immune system.
So if you’re feeling overwhelmed or stressed, take a walk in the park, sit by the ocean, or simply spend some time outside in your backyard.
4 – Creating A Healthy Support System
Spending time with friends and family, doing things that make you laugh, and talking about your feelings are all essential for maintaining good mental health.
It’s important to have a healthy support system that you can rely on when you’re struggling. These people can provide a listening ear, offer advice and guidance, and be there for you during difficult times.
Whether its family, a close friend, or a therapist, make sure you have someone in your life that you can turn to when things get tough.
5 – Taking A Break From Technology
In our fast-paced, always-connected world, it’s easy to get caught up in the endless scroll of social media or the constant notifications from our phones.
However, all this technology can be overwhelming and lead to feelings of anxiety and stress.
That’s why it’s important to take a break from time to time, even if it’s just for a few hours.
Shut off your phone, disconnect from the internet, and spend some time offline and in the present moment, doing something you enjoy.
This will help you to relax and rejuvenate.
6 – Move Your Body
Exercise is not only good for our physical health, but it’s also beneficial for our mental wellbeing.
Physical activity can help to release endorphins, which have mood-boosting effects. It can also help to reduce stress, anxiety, and depression.
You don’t have to go all out – just do something that gets you moving and makes you feel good.
7 – Practice Self-Compassion
One of the most important aspects of emotional self-care is learning to be kind and compassionate to yourself.
This means accepting yourself for who you are, even with all your imperfections. It means being gentle with yourself when you make mistakes and treating yourself with the same compassion and understanding that you would show to others.
Self-compassion and positive self-talk can be a powerful tool in managing stress and anxiety, and it can help to boost your self-esteem and confidence.
8 – Set Boundaries
In order to take care of yourself, you need to learn to say “no” when you’re feeling overwhelmed or stressed.
It’s important to set boundaries with others and not take on more than you can handle. This may mean saying no to social invitations, requests from family and friends, or even work commitments.
Remember that it’s okay to put yourself first and say no when you need to. Creating healthy boundaries is a vital part of establishing your own emotional self-care standards.
9 – Get Enough Sleep
Sleep is essential for our physical and mental health. When we don’t get enough sleep, it can impact our mood, energy levels, concentration, and overall well-being.
To make sure you’re getting the rest you need, aim for 7-9 hours of sleep each night, or whatever it is you need to feel rested and rejuvenated (some need a little more, some a little less).
Establish a regular sleep schedule by going to bed and waking up at the same time each day, and create a relaxing bedtime routine that will help you to wind down and prepare for sleep.
10 – Chanel Your Inner Creativity
Creativity has many benefits for our mental health, including reducing stress, promoting relaxation, and sparking joy.
Whether it’s painting, drawing, writing, playing music, or anything else that gets your creative juices flowing, make time for it in your life.
Allowing yourself to be expressive and engage in a fun activity can help to boost your mood and reduce negative emotions.
11 – Seek Professional Help If Needed
If you’re struggling to cope with your emotions or manage stress and anxiety, it’s important to seek professional help.
A therapist can provide support, guidance, and tools that can help you to feel better.
Don’t be afraid to reach out for help if you need it – it’s a sign of strength, not weakness.
The important thing is to give yourself space to experiment and find what works best for you, as everyone has different needs.
However, making time for self-care is always worth the effort, as it can help you to feel happier and more balanced.
How Do I Get Emotional Self-Care?
There’s no one-size-fits-all answer to the question of how to get emotional self-care.
However, there are some general principles that can be helpful.
First, it’s important to be honest with yourself about your own needs.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed, stressed, or just generally drained, it’s important to take some time for yourself.
Secondly, don’t be afraid to ask for help.
If you’re struggling to cope with your emotions, reach out to a friend, family member, therapist, or any other support system.
Lastly, be patient with yourself. Emotional self-care is an ongoing process, and it can take time to find what works for you.
However, if you’re committed to taking care of yourself, you’ll eventually find the strategies that work best for you.
Why Do We Need Emotional Self-Care?
Just like our bodies, our minds need care and attention. Unfortunately, we often neglect our emotional needs in the busyness of everyday life.
We may push away our feelings, telling ourselves that we don’t have time to deal with them.
Or we may try to numb our emotions with food, alcohol, or drugs.
However, emotional self-care is essential for our well-being.
When we take the time to nurture our emotions, we are better able to cope with stress, build healthy relationships, and pursue our goals.
We may even find that we are happier and more productive, all the while being able to deal with life’s challenges with more ease and less worry.
How Does Emotional Self-Care Help Our Mental Health?
There are many ways in which emotional self-care can help improve our mental health:
Help To Reduce Stress And Anxiety
When we take the time to care for our emotions, we are better able to manage our stress levels and stay calm in the face of adversity.
We may also find that we sleep better, have more energy, and concentrate more easily.
Improve Self-Esteem And Body Image
When we make an effort to nurture our emotions, we send the message to ourselves that we are worthy of care and attention.
This can lead to increased feelings of self-worth and a more positive body image.
Help Nurture Healthy Relationships
When we are able to deal with our own emotions in a healthy way, we are more likely to be able to relate to others in a positive way.
We may find that we are better able to communicate our needs, set boundaries, and resolve conflict.
All of these things can lead to healthier and more fulfilling relationships.
What Are Some Emotional Self-Care Strategies?
There are many different emotional self-care strategies that you can try.
The key is to find what works best for you.
Some people find that journaling, meditation, or spending time in nature helps them to feel more centered and peaceful.
Others may find that exercise, yoga, or deep breathing exercises help to reduce their stress levels.
Still others may find comfort in talking to a friend or family member, listening to music, or reading a favorite book.
There is no right or wrong way to practice emotional self-care.
The important thing is that you find activities that help you to feel good and that you can realistically fit into your life.
What Are Some Common Emotional Self-Care Mistakes?
While there is no one right way to practice emotional self-care, there are some common mistakes that people make.
One of the most common mistakes is trying to do too much at once.
When we try to take on too many self-care activities, we can quickly become overwhelmed and end up feeling more stressed than before.
It’s important to start slow and gradually add new activities as you have time and energy for them.
Another common mistake is not making self-care a priority.
It’s easy to push emotional self-care to the side when we’re feeling busy or stressed.
However, if we don’t make it a priority, we may never find the time for it.
It’s important to schedule time for self-care activities and make them a regular part of your routine.
Finally, another common mistake is not being realistic about what you can realistically accomplish.
If you set unrealistic goals or try to do too much, you’re likely to end up feeling disappointed and frustrated.
It’s important to set achievable goals and to be patient as you work on your emotional self-care.
What Are Other Forms Of Self-Care?
In addition to emotional self-care, there are other forms of self-care that you can practice and find different ways to include them in your life.
This includes activities like exercise, eating a healthy diet, getting enough sleep, and taking breaks when you’re feeling overwhelmed.
It’s all about taking care of your physical health and taking care of your body by fuelling and moving your body in a healthy way.
This can include activities like meditation, prayer, and journaling.
It’s all about connecting with something bigger than yourself and taking time to reflect on your values, what is important to you and your overall spiritual health..
This includes activities like challenging negative thinking patterns, practicing mindfulness, and spending time with positive people.
It’s all about taking care of your mental health and promoting a positive outlook on life.
This can include activities like spending time with friends and family, networking, and volunteering.
It’s all about creating social connections and nurturing healthy close relationships, while setting boundaries and removing toxic people from your life (even if it is your so-called best friend).
This includes activities like setting boundaries, taking breaks, and saying no to extra work.
It’s all about creating a healthy work-life relationship and ensuring that you are taking care of yourself both professionally and personally.
Emotional self-care is a powerful tool that can help us to improve our mental health.
When we take the time to nurture our emotions, we are better able to cope with stress, build healthy relationships, and feel good about ourselves.
If you’re looking for ways to improve your emotional well-being, try some of the strategies discussed above.
And remember, there is no one right way to practice emotional self-care.
The important thing is to find what works best for you and to make it a priority in your own life.