What is emotional self care?
Emotional and Mental Self Care are as important as Physical Self Care. When we are emotionally constipated we can start to feel isolated, lost, and like no one understands us. The best way to counteract this is with emotional self care.
Emotional self care is taking care of your emotional needs, and being aware of what they are. Our emotions play a big part in our everyday lives, and are a powerful source of love, joy, and also pain.
Not letting ourselves feel these things can prevent us from getting the most out of life, having the best relationships we can, and even hinder how well we know ourselves.
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How to Practice Self Care & Avoid Emotional Constipation
1. Express Yourself
Self expression is a great way to release any pent up emotion. I really loved when I was in College, taking my drawing class. Getting to school by 9am and drawing for 2 hours was great for my emotional health, and my focus in the rest of my classes.
Try finding something to release your creativity a few times a week! Activities for stress relief can be anything that brings you joy and helps you be creative.
“Creativity is an inherent human quality of the highest order. When we create, we become more than the sum of our parts.” -Yanni
Here are some examples:
- Yoga or Aerial Yoga or Dancing
- Painting/ Sculpting/ Writing/ Drawing
- Kickboxing or Martial Arts
- Learn to cook or bake
2. Set up Boundaries
Sometimes people we are close to overstep their boundaries. Often times this is because we don’t set them.
Setting up boundaries is healthy! You are just as important as anyone else, and if someone is making you feel “less than”, that is not okay. We can let relatives and close friends get by with this kind of behavior because we are close to them. But letting someone know where you stand, even with their own behavior, is healthy and necessary for good relationships.
3. Practice Intentional Introspection
How well do you know yourself? Introspection is “the examination or observation of one’s own mental and emotional processes.” -Dictionary Definition
Being introspective is not a bad thing, and can help you learn a lot about yourself. To practice introspection, simply ask yourself some questions about who you are, and what you like or dislike. This is part of learning how to be more Mindful as well.
4. Get to know your emotional triggers
What makes you angry? What makes you want to cry? Are there things that make you want to bolt? Knowing your emotional triggers can help you comfort or ease yourself when you notice them, instead of instinctively reacting.
“Triggers are like little psychic explosions that crash through avoidance and bring the dissociated, avoided trauma suddenly, unexpectedly, back into consciousness.” – Carolyn Spring
5. Self Deprecation, Language and our thought life
What is your internal dialogue like? We talk to ourselves more than we talk to anyone else. I learned a few years ago how important my thought life is, and how it effects my day, how I view myself, and how I view others.
Using positive self talk creates a sense of self confidence and reassurance. Positive self-talk says “I can…”, “I did…”, “I will…”, and reminds us we are capable.
6. Your feelings are valid
Don’t apologize for having feelings. Our emotions are signals to our brain that we feel something, and that is not bad. Instead of apologizing for our emotions, we should try to feel our emotions without immediate reaction. Try to practice recognizing WHY you are feeling what you are feeling instead of reacting emotionally.
7. Learn to say “no”
Saying no can be difficult, especially if you tend to be a bit of a people pleaser. Learning to say NO more often, especially when the request is something you cannot morally do, will help improve your life, and your self confidence. Strengthening your self confidence is a form of emotional self care.
“It’s only by saying NO that you can concentrate on the things that are really important.” -Steve Jobs
8. Just Breathe
Breathing exercises are a great way to practice self care.
When the world feel like too much, and we get anxious, remember that breathing and meditation exercises can help.
How to use the 4-7-8 breathing technique: Breathe in for 4 seconds, hold that breath for 7 seconds, and breathe out for 8 seconds. Repeating this sequence can help reduce anxiety, lower blood pressure, help with anger management and even reduce asthma symptoms in children.
9. Create a Self Care Routine
Having an established self care routine is something that helps me keep my emotional state healthy. You can use self care every day at a specific time, or even have monthly self care rituals to give you something to look forward to.
10. Check in with Yourself
Set a specific day and time every week to check in with yourself. This is best if you can get some time alone in a quiet room, and just ask yourself “How am I doing?”, “Is there anything I need?“, “Am I lacking anything physically, spiritually or emotionally?“.
Is there anywhere you could practice self improvement, or anywhere you need to lean into relaxation more. This can set you up for success in your relationship with yourself, your spouse, and even your children. Because you can’t pour from an empty cup.
11. Practice Self Forgiveness
Everyone messes up sometimes. Practicing self forgiveness is important to your emotional and mental self care, because without it you wind up resenting yourself.
“Forgive yourself. The supreme act of forgiveness is when you can forgive yourself for all the wounds you’ve created in your own life. Forgiveness is an act of self-love. When you forgive yourself, self-acceptance begins and self-love grows.” -Miguel Ángel Ruiz Macías
12. Turn to Supplementation when necessary
Sometimes, we need a little help from mother nature.
Anxie-T is my husbands go-to when it comes to emotional stability supplements. He used to have panic attacks, be stressed all the time, and couldn’t sleep at night. This has helped him so much! I have tried it a few times, and it really does start working in 30 minutes.
Mood Stabili-T is another great supplement with Vitamin D (mood support),and Rhodiola (an adaptogen for cognitive health), as well as some other amazing herbs. This supplement is meant support emotional well being and calmness. While I haven’t tried it yet, the reviews are really good!
So you want to be an Emotionally Strong Woman?
This is something I have always struggled with, especially as a sensitive woman. There was a time in college when I thought I was emotionally strong because I pushed my emotions so far down, I couldn’t feel them anymore.
My husband (friend at the time) told me that “your emotions don’t make you weak, they are the strongest part of you.”
That was life changing advice for me. Changing the way we view our emotions is the first step in creating a healthy thought life with them. Think about it this way, who is your role model as a woman? Mine are Lara Croft and Wonder Woman.
Wonder Woman believes in faith, hope, love, and empowerment of other women. She has emotions, she let’s them tie her to the people around her, and that helps her be a better super hero.
So don’t run from your emotions, let them make you stronger! Be intentional with learning about yourself and using emotional self care every day.