Taking good care of your emotional health is one of the best things you can do for yourself. There are countless areas of research focused on the overall health benefits of attending the matters of the mind. In the United States, and many other countries, there is a well established energy put towards improving our physical health. The practice of emotional self care has not garnered the same attention and energy. Your emotional health is just as important as your physical health. Well, actually, its not a competition, both of them are equally vital aspects of how your body runs as a whole. Its therefore important to take some time to learn about your emotional self. Its smart to start incorporating emotional self care into your overall health practices.
1. Practice Emotional Self-Care By Talking With Someone
One of the most common ways that we practice emotional self care is by expressing and processing our feelings in the presence of someone we love and trust. Many of us already do this from time to time without necessarily thinking of it as emotional self care. The truth is, any time you are working to take care of yourself, in any way, it constitutes as self care. So if this is something that you find has helped you in the past, it is safe to say that talking with someone is a good coping skill to keep in mind.
2. Allow Yourself Some Alone Time
Just like talking about things with someone may soothe and nurture your emotional needs, there are also times when you just need to be alone in your own silence. There is no right or wrong in this. Everyone has differing levels of need for socialization, stimulation, and support. It is important for you to become aware of where you are on this spectrum and design your emotional self care practice accordingly. Most of us ebb and flow back and forth between needing companionship or isolation. Some of us may be more inclined to go in one direction or the other. Feel like expressing yourself but still want to be alone? Maybe try journaling. Another exercise you can do is to practice positive self talk. The best think you can do for your emotional self care is to constantly reassess your needs. It is important to make sure that you are listening to what your overall being is telling you.
3. Practice Emotional Self-Care By Expelling Some Energy
Energy is an interesting concept when it comes to your emotional health. Energy can be both physical and/or emotional and sometimes it can be difficult to tell them apart. When you are feeling emotionally tired or fatigued you may need something different than when you are feeling physically tired and fatigued. When it comes to emotional self care, it can be very helpful to tap into and exert some of your physical energy. This helps take your mind off of things and allows you to feel something different for a while. It challenging to find this physical energy when you are emotionally depleted, but it is very important. Learning to recognize the difference and honor whatever level of physical energy you have can really help nurture your emotional self.
4. Try To Stay Present In The Moment
Being present in the moment is popular practice of mindfulness that teaches you to ground yourself into a feeling of peace and stability. This works by helping you self regulate your emotions. Whenever you are thinking outside of the moment you are adding in a lot of extra context to the present. This creates a bunch of additional thoughts and feelings. This is helpful when we are in a spirit of processing or planning, but it can also be extremely overwhelming when we are in a state of emotional distress. In order to lower the intensity of these distressful feelings, it helps to practice emotional self care. Try limiting your focus to only what is currently in front of you. There is a lot less emotion attached to the present situation than when it is viewed within the context of the past/present. Dropping the context can help.
5. Practice Self-Care By Finding Positive Distractions
Sometimes you just need to get away. Its a common misconception that distraction is always avoidance. They are two completely different concepts. Distraction occurs when we take our thoughts off of one thing and place them onto another. When you are experiencing overwhelming thoughts and feelings, it can be very helpful emotional self care to give your brain a break. This may look like intentionally watching a funny television show, playing a video game, or cooking a delicious meal. This doesn’t meant that you are avoiding your thoughts an feelings. It means that you are allowing yourself to pause and catch a breath so that you can think more clearly and rationally. You can always come back to things that you want to process when you are in a calmer and safer state.
Putting It All Together
Practicing emotional self care is an essential part of taking overall good care of ourselves. It is important to pay attention to your emotional needs. When you are feeling emotionally overwhelmed, taking some of these steps can help promote calmer and safer state of mind.