Emotional self-care, which involves taking care of your emotions healthily, is essential to overall wellness.
Emotions can be as essential to our physical health as diet and exercise. Researchers have found that positive emotions are associated with better cardiovascular health.
Emotional self-care essentially means learning to attend to and nurture your emotions in a healthy way to help yourself feel happier, healthier, and more fulfilled overall. Here are ways you can practice emotional self-care:
Identify your emotions.
Your emotions are a part of you, and they help you communicate your needs to the world and others, and they can also be a source of inspiration for art and poetry.
Emotions are like a language we all speak. However, sometimes it’s hard for us to understand what we’re saying or for others to understand us.
-This is why it’s essential for everyone—especially introverts—to practice emotional self-care.
By knowing how and when these feelings arise in ourselves and others, we can better identify them as they happen rather than afterward when they’ve already caused damage or embarrassment (and making things worse by not acknowledging them).
There are many different ways that people express their emotions: through body language (facial expressions), sounds (laughter or crying), actions (shaking hands or giving gifts), words/language used during speech (“I’m happy”), etc., but there is no universal meaning attached with any one particular type of expression since each person has their unique way of showing emotion depending on how much practice they’ve had over time practicing doing so.
Accept your limits.
Acceptance is the key to happiness, acceptance is the key to letting go, and acceptance is the key to self-compassion.
Acceptance is also one of the best ways to let go of your past; even more importantly, it’s a great way to be mindful of what you want in your future.
We tend not to see this as emotional self-care because it can seem like such an obvious answer.
—but once you start practicing acceptance as a tool for cultivating happiness and peace, you’ll find that it’s something worth keeping in mind at all times.
Give yourself a break.
One of the most important things you can do for yourself is give yourself a break. It’s okay not to be perfect if you’re struggling with a particular area of your life. You don’t need to compare yourself to others or feel you have to finish everything by tomorrow.
And sometimes, it’s okay to ask for help and take a break from everything else in your life—even if it seems like that might make things worse at first.
It may seem counterintuitive to stop being critical of yourself, but this is an essential part of emotional self-care.
When you’re feeling down or stressed, it’s easy to slip into a pattern of negative thinking that can become overwhelming and detrimental.
-This can lead to feelings of shame and guilt, which in turn make things worse—and then the cycle begins again.
The goal here isn’t necessarily to never feel wrong about something; it’s about finding a way to break the cycle so your mood doesn’t spiral downward.
- Be kinder than you think you should be – When your inner critic kicks in with its harsh opinion about how much work still needs to be done before today is over, try responding with kindness instead of more negativity:
“You know what? You’re right—I do need more time on this project at some point today, however (and here comes the good news), since I’m not perfect and there’s always room for improvement, I’ll take steps toward making sure that happens next week when things are less busy at work!”
Nurture supportive relationships.
Sometimes it’s easier to talk to someone who doesn’t know you well. If that’s the case, consider seeking a therapist or support group.
You can also talk with your friends, but be sure they’re supportive of your goals and don’t try to discourage you from working on yourself.
If you feel more comfortable talking with someone who knows you well, speak with a mentor or spiritual leader.
Your mentor may be able to advise on how to deal with emotions like anxiety and depression.
In contrast, your spiritual leader might be able to help guide the way toward finding happiness within yourself rather than relying on others for validation.
Embrace healthy habits.
Taking care of your body is an integral part of emotional self-care. In addition to making sure you get regular exercise, eating healthy meals on a regular schedule, and getting enough sleep, there are other things you can do to take good care of yourself. For example:
- take time to relax – make it a priority to relax every day or at least once a week
- do things you enjoy – make sure that your free time includes activities that are fun and stress-relieving
- Don’t smoke or drink too much – both smoking and alcohol use can increase feelings of depression, anxiety, and anger in some people.
Try not to overthink things.
You may be thinking, but I’m a genius. -This is what geniuses do! They think about things. But it doesn’t mean you can’t take time to chill out.
Overthinking is an excellent way to make yourself feel crazy, anxious, stressed, and miserable.
It also leads to frustration because when you overthink things, you tend to beat yourself up for not doing them perfectly in the first place (which leads back to overthinking.).
So try this instead: Take ten deep breaths before opening any emails or looking at anything on Facebook/Twitter/Pinterest/etc.. Then just sit there for 5 minutes without looking at anything anymore.
Take care of your body.
- Eat healthy foods.
- Get enough sleep.
- Get regular exercise.
- Take time to relax and unwind, especially if you’ve been stressed or overwhelmed for a long time.
- Take time for yourself and do things that make you happy—whether it’s reading a book, watching your favorite TV show, going to a movie or concert with friends, taking up an art hobby like painting or sculpting (or even just keeping an art journal), working out at the gym, or playing tennis with friends—whatever it is.
Give yourself a break from social media and other sources of negativity.
- Take a break from social media.
- There will always be new stories that come up in your feed, but this is one way to limit the amount of negativity you see daily.
- You might even find that you enjoy your time away from Facebook or Twitter and can use it as a chance to do something else that makes you happy while still interacting with friends and family in more meaningful ways.
Self-compassion is the ability to be kind and understanding to yourself when you are suffering.
It’s a way of being based on believing that we all have the capacity for wisdom, love, and compassion.
The first step in practicing self-compassion is recognizing when you need some extra love and attention.
If your inner critic has been a little louder than usual lately, it might be time to switch gears by taking this moment as an opportunity for self-care rather than self-criticism.
The second step is choosing how best to respond to yourself with kindness and understanding.
Taking care of your emotional health is essential to be happy, healthy, and fulfilled.
Emotional self-care is essential for your emotional health. To be happy, healthy, and fulfilled, it’s important to practice emotional self-care.
We all want to feel better, and to do that, we need to take care of our emotional health.
If you struggle with negative emotions or difficult situations, try these ten tips for practicing emotional self-care.