Emotional Self-Care: How To Practice Self-Care Beyond Manicures & The Gym
Self-care is an essential part of our overall well-being. However, it often gets a stigma of having a “treat yourself” mentality. Massages, gym sessions, vacations, fancy dinners, and shopping sprees are often the first things that come to mind when you hear self-care. Now don't get me wrong, these things are amazing and are certainly great ways to take care of yourself. But it's not always possible to partake in these types of activities.
What happens if you are sick, short on money, or have a tight schedule? We don't always have the ability to pamper ourselves and tend to our physical health. There have to be ways to practice self-care for the emotional self as well. Sadly, these strategies are often overlooked.
The first few months of 2022 were really difficult for me while I struggled with some medical and health issues that kept me out of my normal diet, gym, and active routine. I found myself struggling to feel energized and my typical positive outlook was hard to connect with. This gave me the push to focus on ways to make myself feel both positive and healthy in a more emotional and mental manner.
I've put together some of the easiest and most effective emotional self-care practices to improve your emotional and mental health.
Positive-Self Talk/Affirmations - The way you speak to yourself is directly connected to how you feel about yourself. Telling yourself “I'm lazy” will inevitably create a similar feeling. Being kind to yourself is a CORE component of emotional self-care. Use uplifting and confident language with yourself, and use positive affirmations. What we focus on magnifies. Fuel your mind with encouragement and see the shift in your mood. I like to focus on uplifting mantras and quotes when I need an emotional pick me up.
Meditation/Mindfulness - Create a safe space for your mind. We need mental rest just as much as we need physical rest, yet it's often pushed to the wayside with the hustle and bustle of a busy schedule. Meditation is a healthy tool to calm the mind and shift your focus to being present with yourself. However, you can also find your own form of mediation, essentially anything that helps you to find a healthy distraction from your external stressors and focus on relaxing from within. Also, don't forget to take some time out of your day to check in with yourself, ask yourself how you are and what you need to take better care of yourself at that moment. The more aware you are of your mental state, the better you can tend to your own needs. We call this mindfulness.
Boundaries - Boundaries are often talked about being applied with other people and in relationships. You also need to set boundaries with yourself. Knowing your limits and staying within them to make sure you are not pushing yourself to a place of being overwhelmed and burning out is boundary setting 101. You will function and feel better if you are staying within healthy boundary limits and knowing when to stop or rest.
Set Goals/Intentions- An extension of boundary setting is setting healthy goals. It is easy to get distracted by things you want to accomplish, setting goals for things you CAN accomplish in your routine is so important to hold you accountable. Whether you are dedicating 10 minutes to meditate, catching up on work, or simply creating mental breaks in your day to eat, rest, and recharge, it is essential to set these realistic goals for yourself to feel in control and accomplished.
Communicate - I found talking to my friends, family, and loved ones to be extremely beneficial. Whether I needed a pick-me-up, advice, or even a healthy distraction and laugh, my support system was great to have by my side. Don't be afraid to ask for help and talk to someone. Therapy is an excellent self-care practice as well!
If you or someone you know can benefit from establishing a healthy self-care routine, mood management, or anxiety support, we are here to help! Jamie Ratowski, LMFT specializes in helping adults work with anxiety and stress management, self-esteem, and relationships, and helping all to achieve their healthiest, happiest lives.
Jamie works within the beautiful Bayview Therapy office in Fort Lauderdale and virtually across the state of Florida through a HIPAA-compliant secure platform. To work with Jamie, call the office at 954-391-5305 for your free consultation.