EMOTIONAL SELF CARE
Last week I talked about mental self care. This week I want to focus on emotional self care.
For me, emotional self-care is a continual work in progress. I lived in an emotionally abusive marriage for many years. During that time, I was continually told that my emotions, feelings and needs were insignificant and/or just plain wrong. After awhile, I started to believe it.
I wasn’t allowed to express my feelings without verbal repercussion from my spouse. So I learned to suppress my feelings in order to avoid conflict at all costs. It was not healthy at all, but I didn’t realize it for a very long time. I thought that I was cause of all of our marital strife and that I had issues. I was miserable. I tried my best to “change” my ways, but the reality is that I would never be able to please someone that couldn’t be pleased. Also, I now know it wasn’t my job to make him happy (refer to last week’s post).
One day, I experienced a very traumatic event in my marriage. At that moment, I knew that I had to protect my children and myself, both physically and mentally, so I ended the marriage and immediately sought counseling.
I set out on a journey of emotional self-care and healing. It took a few years for me to rebuild my self-esteem and confidence. I am happy to report that I am not the same fragile person I was 10 years ago. Today, I would consider myself a pretty confident woman.
What exactly is emotional self care?
The definition of emotional self-care is:
“The provision of what is necessary for identifying and nurturing your feelings, your conscious inner state, and your intellect.” [Desert Alchemy]
What does that mean for you? Basically, your feelings and emotions matter! No one else has the right to tell you what you think or feel. No one!
- When you’re sad, be sad.
- When you’re angry, be angry.
- When you’re happy, be happy.
Own and embrace your emotions!
As you are seeking emotional self care, here are a few ideas to take into consideration.
5 Ways to Practice Emotional Self Care
What does your inner voice say about you? You are your own worst critic! Stop it! It’s okay to check yourself on occasion–that’s not what I’m talking about.
Do you find yourself constantly criticizing everything you do, think or feel? That’s what I mean. That’s called self-sabotage. It is detrimental to your emotional well-being so stop talking down to yourself.
I’m pretty sure that you are an amazing person who has a lot to offer.
“You is kind. You is smart. You is important.” (Aibileen from The Help)
When was the last time you said those words to yourself?
When was the last time you looked in the mirror and told yourself that you are beautiful?
If you’ve never done that, then go do it today! And, then start making it a daily practice. It can be liberating!
Stop the self-sabotaging talk and start thinking and saying positive things about yourself!
2. What are your emotional triggers?
What upsets you?
What angers you?
What causes you stress?
Do you know?
Self-awareness is an important factor for emotional protection. We need to know our emotional triggers so we know what we need to do to cure the situation.
If you don’t know why you’re upset, then you can’t fix it or remove yourself from a situation before it escalates.
Thank about it. Be aware of your triggers and don’t be afraid to share your triggers with your spouse, significant other or friends. If they don’t know, they cannot help.
3. Learn to say “no”.
Know when to say no. This is so important!
If you grasp only one thing that I am saying, this should be it!
You cannot be everything to everyone and you cannot do everything for everyone. It’s physically and mentally impossible. You’ll burnout and crumble from pure exhaustion. Believe me. I’ve been there.
Saying no is healthy. Whether you are saying no to doing a physical action for someone else, or you are saying no to negativity. Both are healthy.
Listen to that inner voice when it is telling you that you have hit your emotional limit or when it’s telling you it’s not a good idea.
Just say no.
4. Set boundaries.
Have you set up personal boundaries?
We all need them for physical and mental protection. It’s amazing how much better you will feel when you eliminate the negativity.
Who are you surrounding yourself with? Negative people attract negative people.
Have you heard the saying, “one bad apple can spoil the whole bunch”? Get rid of the bad apple!
Sometimes, you may need to do the hard stuff and eliminate a friend or two from your life. It doesn’t mean they are bad people. It just means they are not YOUR people.
Let the negative influences in your life go. Make a habit of staying away from and avoiding negative situations.
Instead, surround yourself with people who are happy, motivated, encouraging and want the best for you. Those are the kind of people you deserve and need in your life.
Set your boundaries.
5. Quiet Time, Prayer or Meditation.
No matter what your religion is, even if you don’t believe in a higher power, we all need a form of quiet time, meditation or prayer.
Setting aside quiet time for yourself is a necessity. Even if you can only work in five minutes a day for some quiet time, do it. This time will allow you to clear your mind, evaluate your emotions and focus on your needs.
- Eliminate the noises for a few minutes and sit in the quiet.
- Focus on your needs.
- Speak accolades to yourself.
- Allow yourself the freedom to feel and own your emotions.
Quiet time doesn’t have to be formal. It can be as simple as taking the first few minutes of your day (while you are still in bed) and focusing on you.
We can all find a minimum of five minutes in a day. Make this a priority.
The above 5 topics are all practices I had to learn on my journey to heal my emotional well-being. Like I said, it is a continual work in progress for me. But, learning how to take care of my emotional state was one of the best gifts I ever gave to myself.
Are you ready to start practicing some emotional self care? It’s never too late to start. If you need a friend or some encouragement, I am here for you.
My passion is showing women that there are natural solutions for their health and hormone balance. If you would like to know more, please reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 817-300-7288.
Live healthy, my friends, and remember that age is just a number.