Ways to Practice Emotional Self Care

Woman with feet up look out from balcony
By Kathryn Hummel
Posted by: Unison

Emotional self-care is one of the most important facets of your self-care practice. When we think about self-care, it is important to realize this word implies more than just a shopping trip or a manicure. Self-care is not a privilege that can be bought, it’s a necessary part of our being that allows us to become our most happy and grounded selves.

What is Emotional self-care?

Emotional self-care is caring for your emotional needs by identifying what it is you’re feeling and then progressing in a way that reflects and respects yourself and those emotions.

When our emotional self-care needs are being ignored, we tend to feel frustrated, short-tempered and burnt-out, leaving us with no real plan on how to climb out of that hole. Emotional self-care is a very important piece of a well-rounded self-care practice. Learn how to start practicing emotional self-care today by reading some of our tips below:

1. Take a few deep breaths, especially before expressing your feelings

2. Learn to say no and serve yourself first: embrace saying no when you need to take back your time and schedule, allowing you to say yes to yourself.

3. Create boundaries that feel good to set and encourage others to do the same: you are the master of what energy you let into your life. Creating boundaries will help keep your space sacred.

5. Watch your sorry: reserve this word for times when you’re truly sorry. Instead, find the words you’re really seeking instead and use them! 

6. Call on others for help when you start to feel overwhelmed, and choose to be in the company of those who understand your emotions and support you.

7. Accept compliments without argument or pushback, practice saying a simple thank you in response.

8. Feel your feelings: experience your emotions without judgment, guilt, or embarrassment and allow yourself to process what you’re going through

9. Give yourself the grace to try again when a moment doesn’t go as planned, acceptance of yourself as you are is so important

10.Learn to forgive yourself: when things get hard, it’s easy to blame yourself for everything. Treat yourself with self love and compassion rather than beating yourself up over small mistakes. 

11. Listen to the way you speak to yourself. You’ll be surprised at the messages you may have internalized. Make an effort to engage in positive self talk. 

12. Express your emotions: most people collect negative emotions, with no way to release them. Keeping a journal, or writing music are two examples of positive self expression.