Strategies for Emotional Self-Care

Emotional Self-Care

Emotional – to love, care, and be in relationship with yourself and others: Emotional self-care might include setting clear boundaries on your time and energy. Engage emotional boundaries within helping relationships, surrounding yourself with positive people and affirmative and inspiring messages. Address any issues or problems so that they don’t build up. Give and receive love, kindness, and support. Spend time with people you care about and who care about you.

People hugging

Strategies for emotional self-care:

  • Know you feelings. One of the most important steps for emotional self care is allowing yourself to feel and experience the emotions. Many of our problems start because we try to not feel our emotions and avoid addressing them. By experiencing our emotions we can then begin to take further steps to heal them and then let them go.
  • Understand your emotional triggers. As you become more aware of your emotions, you will start to see patterns.  By asking yourself what causes your emotions, you will be able to identify those “triggers”.  Understanding your triggers helps you to know how to reduce the negative impact in the future.
  • Understand your emotional needs. We often struggle with giving ourselves permission to put ourselves first, especially when others are depending on us.
    But switching your focus to your emotional needs is the best thing you can do, not only for yourself but for others. When feeling overwhelmed, it’s “ok” to ask others for help.
  • Set boundaries protect your energy. Boundaries are essential for your emotional self-care. If you have a problem putting yourself first, then maybe you also struggle with enforcing boundaries that are necessary for your well being. Know what your limits are and get comfortable with saying no. Some people may not like it but that’s okay, remember if something is harmful to you emotionally, you are entitled to say no to it. Surround yourself with people who respect those boundaries and give you positive energy. Obviously this cannot be achieved all the time, but if someone makes you feel drained or negative too often then you may need to  distance yourself from them.
  • Give yourself some “quiet time”. Taking time out of your day to journal, have devotional time or meditate help you increase resilience in difficult situations and put the stressors in your life in perspective. Through this quiet time, you can gain better clarity and understanding of your emotions.  Scheduling quiet time each day can help to ensure that you have adequate down time and don’t work yourself into the ground. It’s easy to become overwhelmed when we don’t allow ourselves to rest and recharge.
  • Practice gratitude. This applies to both yourself and to others. Gratitude is such a simple but powerful tool that helps you stay focused on the positives in your life. We can get caught in trap of negative self-talk, gratitude can help break that negative emotional self-talk by treating yourself with the love and gratitude that you want from others. Letting others know what you appreciate about them builds positive relationships.


Iowa AEA Logo