21+ Ways to Practice Emotional Self Care and Wellness

It’s time to say YES to your emotional self care and wellness needs. In this article, you will learn more than 21 ways to practice emotional self care for a healthier, happier life.

One of the first things we neglect in times of stress is our own emotional self care. However, your emotional self-care is critically important to your overall wellness in life, especially in today’s stressful world.

Nurturing your emotions, and dealing effectively with your negative emotions, can help you manage life better by reducing stress, boosting your mood, and calming your nervous system. When you tend to your emotional needs, you are better able to manage your overall mental and physical health.

DISCLAIMER: I am not in the medical profession and information on this website should not be considered a personal consultation for any health issues. Information is based on my own personal experiences and research. If you are in crisis, please see a health professional or your primary care provider about your personal needs.

two young girls lay on a bed wrapped in towels with cucumber slices on their faces for a fun spa day
It’s never too soon to teach our girls about healthy self care habits and meaningful social connections.

Related Article: What is Wellness and Why is it Important?

beautiful young black woman holds a tall glass of water and smiles pleasantly about her emotional self care routine
Don’t forget to drink plenty of water everyday! It’s not just a physical health matter — it positively impacts every aspect of your life!

What is Emotional Self Care?

Emotional self care is just one of the 5 kinds of self care that are vitally important to your wellbeing. Those 5 kinds of self care include:

  • physical self-care
  • emotional self-care
  • mental self-care
  • social self-care
  • spiritual self-care

Some leaders in the field of health and wellness feel there are 7 or 8 kinds of self-care that also include environmental, financial, professional, and/or recreational. However you choose to look at it, emotional self care intertwines with all the other kinds of self care and must be addressed for optimal wellness.

Emotional self-care means that you are are able to identify your feelings and allow yourself to honor and respect those feelings. You understand that a variety of emotions are normal and you do not try to ignore or deny your emotions. You also understand and respect that everyone has a wide range of emotions that must be nurtured and valued. You take time to do things that help you live a better life and maintain a positive attitude that supports your emotional health.

Emotional self care does not come naturally to some people. Instead, they might choose to ignore those pesky little feelings and emotions that usually end up turning into much bigger emotions.

For example, if you try to ignore feelings of frustration, jealousy or annoyance, you might well end up in a rage of anger one day. Or if you deny feelings of regret, hurt, or shame, you may well end up in a puddle of tears from sadness one day.

Fortunately, you can learn to manage and nurture your emotional health by developing a mindset of self care and self love that teachers you to honor and respect your emotions and those of the people around you.

a list of self care activities for your emotional health
There are a variety of self care activities you can do (and should do) for your emotional health.

Examples of Emotional Self Care Activities

Let’s look at some examples of emotional self care activities. Some may be daily activities and some may be less frequent, but all contribute in a substantial way to your emotional health:

  • practice mindfulness
  • listen to your favorite music
  • maintain a journal
  • enjoy a walk in the park
  • explore someplace new
  • practice an attitude of gratitude
  • read a great book
  • take a nap
  • take a deep breath.
  • plan an adventure
  • get a massage
  • exercise or move your body
  • meditate or do yoga
  • get dressed up
  • love yourself
  • visit an elderly family member
  • have lunch with a close friend
  • diffuse essential oils
  • Pause… Breathe… Relax.
  • enjoy a bubble bath
  • create your own self-care plan
  • take a walk on the beach
  • establish a daily routine for yourself and your family
  • seek professional help
  • schedule a vacation

As you can see, there are a variety of simple self-care practices that can be done everyday while others can be done occasionally. Now let’s explore 21 important wellness tips for your emotional self care that will help in all areas of your life.

a women sits yoga style and writes in her journal for emotional self care
A regular practice of journaling supports your emotional health and wellbeing by helping you connect with your inner thoughts and feelings.

21 Ways to Practice Emotional Self Care and Wellness

1. Allow yourself to feel your emotions.

It is important to take the time for emotional self care in order to ensure that your emotions are being addressed and managed. Allowing yourself to feel your emotions can be a difficult task, especially if you’re used to avoiding them or pushing them aside. This may lead to feelings of anxiety and sadness, but it is essential for your mental health and wellbeing.

The key to allowing yourself to experience feelings like these is creating a safe environment where it becomes easier and more comfortable for you to process what you’re feeling without judgement. Practicing mindfulness techniques such as focusing on the present moment or journaling can help regulate emotion by providing an outlet for expressing those thoughts and feelings—without fear of being judged.

Additionally, talking things through with supportive friends or family members can also be beneficial in helping you process your emotions in a healthy way.

Empower yourself by learning more about your emotions. Use a Feelings Wheel like the one below to fully understand how to label your emotions and embrace each of your feelings. By doing so, you will be able to process your emotions better, develop greater self-awareness, and learn self-compassion. Never ignore what you are feeling.

Feelings Wheel Colored Version

2. Identify your emotional triggers.

Identifying and managing our emotional triggers can help to improve our overall mental health and reduce stress levels.

An emotional trigger is any event, situation or person that elicits an intense emotion. These emotions can range from frustration, anger, sadness or guilt, to name a few. In order to manage your emotions in a healthy way, it’s important to take the time to identify your personal triggers so that you can develop strategies for dealing with them. This will allow you to better understand yourself and create healthier coping mechanisms.

There are several ways in which you can identify your own personal triggers such as keeping track of how different events make you feel throughout the day or reflecting on past experiences that have caused strong emotions.

3. Protect your energy at all costs.

When it comes to emotional self care, protecting your energy is key. Energy can be both physical and mental – the two are intertwined as one affects the other. It’s easy to forget that our energy levels deplete over time if we don’t take steps towards replenishing them.

Managing stress and fatigue by practicing good emotional self care habits can help keep your energy levels up. This includes limiting contact with toxic people or situations, avoiding overextending yourself with commitments, setting boundaries for yourself and getting adequate rest each day. Taking breaks during the day allows us to stay focused on what’s really important and recharge our batteries when needed.

4. Start a daily journal.

Journaling is one of the most powerful emotional self-care tools available. Not only does it provide a platform to express yourself, but it also gives you an opportunity to reflect on your experiences and track your progress. Starting a daily journal is an invaluable way to prioritize emotional wellbeing and foster self-awareness.

A daily journal is the perfect place for jotting down thoughts, feelings, insights, and reflections from each day. It can be used as a creative outlet, or simply as a place to record worries or successes. By actively engaging in this practice, you can become more mindful of your feelings over time and learn how to better manage them.

Additionally, writing out your emotions can help you gain clarity about situations where you feel overwhelmed or confused by your reactions. Keeping track of these moments makes it easier to recognize patterns in behavior that may need to be changed or cultivated further to better manage your emotional health.

5. Practice self-compassion.

Practicing self-compassion is a form of emotional self-care that is essential. It can help you deal with difficult situations, manage overwhelming emotions, or simply take better care of yourself.

Self-compassion involves being kind and understanding towards oneself in times of suffering or stress, rather than feeling ashamed or overwhelmed by it. It also includes learning to think with self-compassion in a positive light and being kind to yourself.

It is important to take the time to practice intentional acts of self-kindness and recognize any progress made on the journey. This could include using positive affirmations such as “I am doing my best” or “I am worthy” and activities like journaling, taking some time off from work, talking to a friend, calling a crisis hotline if needed, going for walks in nature, and treating oneself kindly.

a beautiful women in front of a window holds self care drops
CBD oil has become a common product that is used for emotional and physical self care.

6. Do something you love each day.

Do something you love every day. It sounds like a simple task, but it can be hard to prioritize self care when life gets busy. Taking the time to do something that brings joy into your life has a significant emotional impact on your daily wellbeing and is an essential part of caring for yourself.

Doing something that you love every day can help bring peace and happiness into your life, as well as provide an opportunity for growth and learning. This can also help reduce stress levels by providing a sense of purpose or direction in times of uncertainty or turmoil.

Taking some time out of your day for yourself helps foster a positive outlook about life which will benefit all aspects of wellbeing including physical health, mood stability and relationships with others. Schedule time each day to do something that you love.

7. Learn from your mistakes.

Mistakes are a part of life, and it is important to learn from them in order to grow. Learning from mistakes can be difficult, especially when it comes to emotional self-care. It requires us to look inward and examine our emotions, thoughts, and behaviors.

However, if we take the time to reflect on what went wrong, we can gain valuable insight into ourselves that will help us create healthier habits in the future.

One of the most effective ways to learn from our mistakes is by engaging in mindful self-reflection. Ask yourself questions such as: What was my role in this mistake? What led up to this situation? How could I have done things differently? Answering these questions allows us to uncover thought and behavior patterns that might interfere with your emotional wellbeing.

8. Take a social media break.

Taking a break from social media can be an important step in self-care. Social media can be both entertaining and beneficial, but scrolling through news feeds and interacting with others online can also have its downside because you take on the energy and mood of other people. Taking a break from the digital world can help you focus on yourself and practice mindfulness in other areas of your life.

Rather than focusing on what’s going on in other people’s lives, a social media break encourages you to take time out for yourself. A pause from engaging with technology allows you to relax, unplug from your devices and reconnect with more traditional forms of communication like talking face-to-face with friends or writing in a journal. It’s an opportunity for you to take the pressure off yourself to be available for others, and focus on your own self care instead.

9. Set healthy boundaries.

Boundaries allow us to connect with our needs and wants in order to achieve a balance in life. Having clear boundaries helps protect your mental, physical and emotional wellbeing while allowing you the space you need to grow.

It can be difficult to set healthy boundaries due to the fear of disappointing others or disrupting relationships; however, taking time out for yourself can help you deal with stress, prioritize your need, and create a better environment both at home and at work.

Creating personal rules to protect yourself — both physically and emotionally. Learn to say no, stay away from chaos that doesn’t involve you, and stick to your own rules.

beautiful young woman with a towel wrapped around her head washes her face in the sunlight
I choose to love and care for myself every single day. You should, too!

10. Schedule quiet time each day.

Scheduling ‘quiet time’ each day is a great way to foster emotional self-care and create space for reflection, relaxation, and recovery from the stresses of daily life.

Making time for yourself can be challenging when you have a lot going on, but even just 10 minutes devoted to some form of quiet activity – such as reading a book or listening to music – can help you manage stress levels, boost energy, improve focus, and cultivate greater clarity of thought.

11. Live in the present moment.

Taking time to pause and appreciate what is happening around you can be a powerful tool for mental health. When you are aware of the current moment, it helps you connect with your emotions and better understand yourself.

The beauty of being mindful and embracing life lies in its simplicity. Allowing yourself to stay rooted in the present will help you shift your attention away from worrying about the future or ruminating over the past, both of which can cause stress-inducing anxiety. If something seems overwhelming, taking even a few moments to focus on your breath can help clear your mind and bring you back into that peaceful place within yourself.

When you take intentional steps toward living in the present moment, you give yourself an opportunity to feel truly connected with your emotions.

12. Establish close relationships that fulfill your soul.

When you nurture your inner self with love and understanding, it helps you establish strong relationships that touch the depths of our souls. From these bonds can come a deep sense of fulfillment that is priceless.

Cultivating close relationships involves being honest about what you want and need from others, as well as taking responsibility for your own emotions and actions. You must also recognize when boundaries are crossed, so that you can maintain healthy balance in the relationship. Take time to practice mindful reflection on both yourself and the people you interact with.

13. Practice progressive muscle relaxation.

Progressive muscle relaxation is an effective form of emotional self-care that helps relieve tension in the body as well as relax the mind. It involves tensing and releasing different muscle groups in sequence to bring awareness of physical sensations to help reduce stress levels.

To begin, find a comfortable seated or lying position. Then, focus on taking deep breaths for a few minutes before you start the exercise. As you exhale, tense one group of muscles at a time from your toes up to your head – hold each group for 5-10 seconds before releasing them slowly with an exhalation of breath.

Pay attention to how your body feels after each muscle has been released so that you can observe any changes in sensation or tension levels during the process. This technique can be used in a variety of settings and circumstances.

Creating a healthy support system in your life can be essential to emotional self care. It is important to have people around us who are there for us when times get tough, and who we can confide in during difficult moments. Having the right group of people that you can rely on to offer guidance and understanding is an important part of taking care of yourself emotionally.

a beautiful young woman gives herself a hug
You are worthy of self love and self care just as much as all the other people in your life that you shower with compassion and love.

14. Create a healthy support system in your life.

A healthy support system should be one that includes people you can ask for help when necessary, people you can cry with, and people you can laugh with. Your support system should be comprised of people who share your value system and promote positivity in your life.

Having a genuine connection with someone you trust enough to share your innermost thoughts, feelings and worries with is an invaluable aspect of having a healthy support network. This can include family members, close friends or even professional therapists – anyone who will be able to listen without judgement and provide constructive feedback or advice when needed.

A strong sense of community built from connecting with those around us is key for proper emotional self care as it helps us feel heard and understood without fear or hesitation.

15. Practice mindfulness meditation.

Mindfulness meditation can help relax the mind and body, reduce stress and anxiety, and provide clarity on difficult issues. It is a simple practice that can be done anywhere and anytime, with no special equipment or training required.

By focusing on the present moment, mindfulness meditation helps us to become aware of our thoughts and feelings without judgment. Our minds are able to wander freely without getting caught up in negative thinking patterns or worrying about the future. This inner awareness allows us to better regulate our emotions so we can respond more effectively to challenging situations.

The benefits of mindfulness meditation extend beyond improving mental health; it has also been shown to boost physical health by reducing blood pressure, improving sleep quality, and enhancing immunity.

16. Establish meaningful spiritual practices in your life.

Establishing meaningful spiritual practices is one of the most powerful ways to practice emotional self care. A regular spiritual practice can help bring more balance and clarity into your life, which in turn supports better overall mental and emotional wellness.

The spiritual dimension of health includes activities such as becoming more grounded, developing your intuition, or connecting with something greater than yourself. It does not need to mean you become religious. Religion and spirituality are two different things.

Your spirituality is a set of guiding beliefs, principles, and values that give you direction in life. It encompasses a high degree of commitment to your individual belief system that provides you with a sense of purpose and meaning in life.

17. Create a physical self care plan.

Develop habits and practices that help you learn to take care of your body and address your physical needs. Maintain a healthy diet, take regular lunch breaks, develop practices that prevent heart disease, move your body, and establish relationships with good medical personnel who can support your overall health. Of course, these are just some examples, but too often we neglect our physical health, so it’s important to create a physical self care plan that you can follow on a long term basis.

a close up of a woman brushing her shoulder with a body brush as part of her self care routine
Some people use a dry body brush to support their immune system, energize their body, and promote relaxation.

18. Develop a mental health care plan.

Taking part in activities that promote emotional self care can help you lead a healthier, more balanced life. By setting aside time for yourself, engaging in emotionally-positive activities, and connecting with those who support you, you can look after both your mental and emotional wellbeing. Activities like journaling about how you’re feeling or learning ways to manage stress can be beneficial for managing your mental health. Additionally, scheduling regular check-ins with friends or therapist helps to keep feelings of loneliness at bay while encouraging open dialogue about emotions and experiences.

19. Silence your inner critic.

Everyone has an internal dialogue, but those with a negative inner critic tend to take this dialogue to the extreme. They can become their own worst enemy, constantly putting themselves down and focusing on their perceived flaws.

Feeling overwhelmed by these thoughts can take a toll on mental health and self-esteem, so it’s crucial to identify and address your inner dialogue.

The first step to silencing your inner critic is recognizing when it occurs. Paying attention to when you are speaking negatively to yourself or engaging in negative thinking patterns will help you break the cycle of negativity. Begin replacing those negative thoughts with positive statements and thoughts.

Taking the time each day for some mindful moments or journaling can be beneficial in both identifying and redirecting those negative thoughts. Learn to maintain a healthy attitude and positive inner thoughts.

20. Establish Healthy Sleep Habits

Getting enough restful sleep allows you to recharge and better manage your emotions, so it’s important to prioritize this fundamental activity in your life. The first step in establishing healthy sleep habits is understanding why adequate restorative sleep is necessary for your emotional well-being.

Good quality sleep helps us maintain a positive mood, foster better concentration and focus, reduce stress levels, and even support physical health. It helps keep hormonal levels balanced and boosts the immune system, meaning we’re better able to cope with life’s challenges.

Determine how much sleep you need and make it a priority each night. Most adults require 7-9 hours of sleep per night. As you get older, it becomes even more important to get proper rest for your mind, body, and soul.

21. Deal with negative feelings immediately.

When it comes to emotional self care, dealing with negative feelings immediately is essential for overall well-being. It’s not always easy to confront these feelings head-on, but taking a few moments to identify and acknowledge your negative emotions can be powerful; it allows you to take control of feelings before they become overwhelming.

It’s important to remember that negative emotions are natural and valid; they shouldn’t be ignored or suppressed. Instead, focus on understanding why they exist and how they may be affecting your life. Once you gain this insight, use it as an opportunity for growth by looking at ways to make positive changes in yourself and your life.

Emotional Self Care Checklist

Use this Emotional Self Care Checklist for reminders and to monitor how you are doing with your emotional self care journey. Good luck! You can do this!

emotional self care checklist
Emotional Self Care Checklist

Final Thoughts: Tips for Your Emotional Self Care

Emotional self care is essential to your wellbeing. Be sure to always take positive steps to improve your health and happiness in life. You deserve it!

Recognize what makes you feel good and create opportunities for those activities in your life. Enjoy positive social interactions and tend to your overall wellness — mind, body, and soul.

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Love to ALL! ~ Susan

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