Emotional Self-Care: What is it and Tips to Create More of It

Over the last four weeks, I’ve written about four of the eight different types of self-care, and I believe that emotional self-care is by far the most important one. Here’s why—because when we can manage our emotions—we can do a better job with the other types of self-care, which in turn can help us lead happier and healthier lives.

 

What is Emotional Self-Care?

 

It’s the ability to identify through self-awareness what your emotions are telling you. What feelings are being generated from the emotions? It’s becoming aware of your thoughts and feelings and how best to handle them.

 

It is a part of total wellness that, if left unchecked, can wreak havoc on your mental and physical health; when emotional self-care is practiced, the benefits for overall health and wellness increase, giving way to a happier and healthier life.

 

Also, when you are emotionally aware and practicing emotional self-care, you are better able to handle other people’s emotions, which in turn can help with relationships.

 

Although feelings and emotions are often thought of as the same, they are not. So, before I dive into how you can manage emotional self-care, let’s go over the difference between emotions and feelings.

 

So, what’s the difference between emotions and feelings?

 

Emotions are originated in the body and are thought of as messages from the unconscious or subconscious mind. For example, objects, other people, smells, memories, the stories we create, etc., trigger sensations felt in the body, such as a racing heart, sweaty palms, tight chest, tension in the body, dizziness, shaky, etc.

 

Note: Emotions can be brought to the conscious mind through the self-awareness I discussed earlier, through therapy or coaching.

 

Feelings, on the other hand, are the reactions to emotions. Examples: A racing heart could be viewed as nervousness or fear of a situation, whereas someone else might experience the emotion differently as being excited about something they are about to do or just did.

 

A great article in Psychology Today gives an excellent overview of the difference between emotions and feelings, as well as some ideas on how to develop emotional awareness.

 

Read on for more ideas on how to develop and manage emotional self-care —

 

 

 

 

 

 

Acceptance — When you can accept your emotions, give yourself grace and not beat yourself up for your emotions, you are on your way to emotional self-care and self-love.

 

Tracking — Tracking your emotions can help you identify triggers to negative thinking patterns and thought processes, make better decisions, and manage your life more effectively.

 

Reframe — Reframing is taking the negative thoughts and thinking patterns and reframing them into a positive statement, so you can adjust the mindset and develop healthier self-talk. And reframing can go much deeper than that. Check it out here.

 

Create Positivity — A positive mindset can be created through journaling, reading books on emotional intelligence/self-care, listening to Podcasts, and working with a therapist or coach.

 

Respond versus React — Before you speak or do something you may later regret, slow down and listen to what your body is telling you. Make an informed decision about the situation and then respond.

 

Direction — Are you coachable? Can you follow directions from a therapist, a coach, a mentor, a good friend, etc., without becoming defensive or unwilling to make a shift or change?

 

Resilience — Become empathetic to yourself and others. It will go a long way in making your life healthier and happier.

 

Patience — Patience is a virtue our society is currently lacking. We could all benefit from a bit of patience for ourselves and others. Build a strong foundation with your emotional brain (the heart) and the thinking brain (the brain).

 

Gratitude — I’ve written this one time and time again for so many blogs and it’s just as beneficial here. When you shift the focus from what’s wrong in your life to what you are grateful for, you’ll be in a better headspace.

 

Move Your Body — Shifting the energy goes a long way in improving mood. Dance around the living room with some great music and dust the furniture while you’re at it. You’ll notice a boost in mood from seeing things sparkle and from the body generating a different kind of energy.

 

Hobbies — A hobby that you love, find relaxing, and sparks joy in your life will improve your emotional self-care by simply destressing and quieting your mind.

 

Laugh — It decreases stress, improves mood, and has positive effects on the immune system. Watch a funny movie, go to a live comedy event, or play a fun card game with your friends. Laughter is good medicine.

 

Ask for help — Sometimes we just can’t go it alone. Ask for help! Talk to a doctor, a counselor, a coach, or a good friend who can listen with empathy and help you find solutions to achieve emotional self-care.

 

We can create a strong foundation that will ultimately lead to a happier and healthier life when we have self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy for ourselves and others, and can listen and engage with others through good social skills.

 

Cheers to emotional self-care—give it a go and see how far you can go in creating a better life for yourself. Need some help. Check out my bi-weekly group coaching calls. The first month is free.

 

With love,
Vonie