Happy Wednesday! I hope the sun is currently shining for you, if not then I hope you’re in some comfy clothes with a hot drink feeling snug. On Sunday I spoke about the five core areas of your life in which you can practise self-care. Today, I want to delve in deeper into how you can practise emotional self-care in your daily lives. As a said in my previous post, this is something which sounds really simple on paper but takes a lot of practice. So, let’s dive in.
Say Yes To What You Know You Need.
Disclaimer: Now, some things I will be talking about in this post might make you think ‘Kels, that sounds quite selfish’. But, in my eyes self-care isn’t selfish, as long as you’re not hurting yourself or any living being, do what makes you happy.
This is one of those selfish times. Don’t be worried about saying yes to things you truly need such as:
- Alone time
- Physical Care
- Daily learning
- Reflection Time
These are routines we truly need to grow as people let alone care for ourselves. So, don’t be afraid to turn round to your partner, family members, friends and say ” I’m going to have some alone time.” They might ask why, in which you can explain you need this time to yourself, it’s not because of any negative feelings, you’re just prioritising your own self-care. You might think, Kels I don’t have the time to do this. I always tell people. If you have time to scroll through Facebook and Instagram, you have time to practise self-care.
Be Respectful Of Your Emotions.
I touched on this in my previous post. But, it’s important to accept and respect your feelings, be it positive or negative. It’s easier to accept positive emotions more than negative emotions (that’s just common sense). So, if you’re feeling positive, enjoy it, even if it’s the feeling of contentment watching Coronation Street on a Monday night with your favourite hot chocolate and you feel at ease. Savour these small moments.
Negative emotions are another story. We place these expectations on ourselves (which does come from the media), that we should be feeling positive emotions 100% of the time. Well, get that out of your head because that is impossible. Even the happiest person on earth feels negative emotions at times. It’s what you do with them that counts.
If you’re having a low day, with no motivation or aspirations for that day. All you want to do is wrap up in a blanket with a book or a TV show. Respect that emotion. Now there’s a difference between respecting an emotion and wallowing in negative emotions (you might have heard of the term wallowing in self-pity). Respecting the emotion is telling yourself ”Ok, I feel like this for now.” You accept the emotion, you deal with the emotion and try to find the root of the problem. Then you find a way to turn that emotion into a more positive one.
So if you are having a low day, with no motivation or aspirations for that day. And all you want to do is wrap up in a blanket with a book or TV show. Do it, as long as what you want to do is not harming yourself or others. I find wrapping myself up like a cosy burrito and watching Netflix helps to relax my negative emotions. You begin to analyze why you feel like this. And usually, in the end, you end up with a content feeling. Leaving behind that negative emotion and turning it into a buildable positive emotion.
Learn To Identify Your Emotional Trigger.
We all have emotional triggers. These can be triggers from past events which rise negative emotions, or they can be subjects which hit a nerve. The best thing I did was write down all my emotional triggers and from there I worked towards how I can deal with each of them. For example, one of my emotional triggers is Degradation of Physical Appearances. This is something which really upsets me. It’s apart of what I like to call the ‘B*tchy culture’. So, when I hear someone degrade someone else’s physical appearance or my own, the way I’ve learnt to deal with it is to call the person out on what they’re doing and state either out loud or to myself three beautiful physical aspects of that person and one beautiful quality of that person. By turning off the negative speech and turning it into positive or conversation. It helps me deal with it better emotionally.
Also, as a side note. Don’t be afraid to call people out. I’m sure you’ve seen the recent news and social media about the Black Lives Matter protest. It’s important to call people out when they say something racist, degrading, sexist, homophobic. It’s time that we all stand up to others and ourselves about this. Remember you can also call yourself out. Don’t be mean or horrible to yourself or others when you do call them out. You’re just bringing attention to what’s just been said and hopefully learn for the future.
Become Aware Of Self Talk.
This is super important towards practising emotional self-care. Our minds have around 12,000 to 60,000 thoughts per day. 80% are negative and 95% are repetitive thoughts. That’s surreal. So, it’s important to catch yourself when you are having a negative thought or speaking to yourself negatively. I’ve spoken about this saying before which is one of the three life sayings I live by daily and that is. ”You have yourself from the start until the end. So, you might as well befriend” This is true, you’re with yourself constantly, so why are you treating yourself so negatively. Be your own best friend, catch yourself out, big yourself up, love yourself, compliment yourself. If I ever catch myself saying something like ”I can never do anything right!” I make sure to take a deep breath and change it to a positive question such as ”What am I missing?”
Create Emotional Boundaries.
Remember at the start when I said at times you need to be selfish. This is one. And it’s the hardest one.
Now, to make it clear I am here for any person who wishes to talk to me about anything be it positive or negative. I am someone people can confide in and speak to openly. But, there need to be boundaries.
If a friend is going through a break-up or had an argument with a co-worker, or greaving. Whatever big or small, be there for them 100%. I’d be shocked if you weren’t there for them. Be that shoulder to cry on and an ear to listen, offer advice and a cup of tea.
But, by boundaries I mean, don’t let other peoples reoccurring negativity affect your emotions. For Example, if you have a friend who whenever you meet up always complains about bills, children, their job, hairdressers, and other things every time you meet up. You need to set boundaries between you and that person. Now, I’m partial to a bit of a winge with my friends at times about miniature occurrences. But I try to not let any negativity interfere or rub off on them. So, if you have a friend which whenever you leave their house or cafe after a cup of tea and you feel negatively emotionally drained every time you leave. It’s time to set boundaries.
So, some of these are harder than others and some you might find a bit selfish. But, as I said. Self-Care isn’t selfish, as long as you’re not hurting or harming yourself or others.
Now, some of you might be wondering what’s the difference between emotional health and mental health. Make sure to check back this Sunday at 5pm BST to check out that post.
Stay Safe and Happy