Self-care doesn’t just mean exercising, eating right, and getting more sleep.
In fact, there’s more to self-care than treating yourself to the spa, going to the salon, or going on a staycation.
At the very core of these activities is emotional self-care. This is something we at Bridges of Hope also impart to our residents.
What is emotional self-care?
Emotional self-care is how we acknowledge and become aware of our emotions. It’s how we then take the steps to honor those emotions.
Emotional self-care is about owning our emotions, instead of denying it or running away from it, in order to cultivate our well-being.
8 Rules for Better Emotional Self-Care
Feel your feelings.
We are designed to feel. Emotions are natural, and normal. It is when we suppress, ignore, or minimize our feelings when it become a problem. The healthy way to go about this is to let the feelings wash over us and cleanse us. It is by doing this that we can better move on with our lives.
Determine and set boundaries.
What are you comfortable with? What can you tolerate? What gives you peace of mind? Setting clear boundaries can get a lot of the stress out from dealing with people and everyday events.
By setting these boundaries, you also honor yourself. Just be sure to speak up kindly and clearly.
Humility keeps us grounded. It keeps us human. This allows you to go easy on yourself and to be more forgiving. And as you practice this from within, you will also find yourself becoming more accepting, tolerant, and compassionate towards others.
Own what’s yours.
It is essentially minding only what you can control. Being responsible for your side of the street, so to speak. You can’t change others or expect them to think the way you do.
Be patient with yourself.
You are a work in progress, much like what other people are. Take every experience as a moment to learn, grow, and evolve.
This means you don’t have to be too hard on yourself. Remember, you may fall down seven times, but you have to stand up eight.
Consider your past.
Many of you reactions and responses may be due to what happened to you in the past. Certain situations can serve as triggers and give you an automatic response. A good part of emotional self-case is in being aware when something triggers you, and to be more mindful of how you feel and react.
As much as possible, get rid of excess emotional baggage. Let go of grudges and resentments–make amends and don’t forget, this goes to yourself too. Once you learn to forgive, yourself and the other person, you can then feel lighter. You can feel a change in yourself, and you can feel free.
Stay away from unhealthy situations.
You can’t always control what happens. The important thing is to not engage in situations that you know just won’t turn out well. You don’t have to leave physically, but you can practicing detaching yourself. Whether it’s from a loved one, friend, or a negative situation, you can always detach with love.