How To Master Emotional Intelligence Chapter 7 – Mental And Emotional Self-Care
Mental and emotional self-care is one of the most important facets of your self-care routine. If you prioritize your emotional self-care, I can wholeheartedly guarantee that you will feel much happier and more fulfilled as a person! Emotional self-care can be described as, “Taking care of your emotional needs by recognizing and nurturing your feelings, your conscious inner state, and your intellect (Emotionally Resilient Living)” It is all too easy to get lost in the whirlwind of hectic family life, putting emotional self-care on the back burner.
Emotional self-care is more than just massages and mani-pedis, it’s about listening to your thoughts and feelings (the inner dialog) and honoring them in a way that allows you to move forward and feel happy inside. When you learn to manage your thoughts and feelings, you will be able to get through any difficult emotional situation. You will find that if you do not respect and express your emotions, they can cause a blockage in your mind, leading to anxious thoughts, that ‘burn-out’ feeling, and general restlessness. Busy, modern family life forces you to reprioritize your own life around the kids and your partner, and you come up short.
Here are top 7 tips for emotional self-care (not just for yourself, but for families too!)
- Monitor your inner dialogue. Have you been struggling with pesky negative thoughts that never seem to go away? To take care of your emotional care, monitor your inner dialog and take note of the types of thoughts that are floating around in your brain. Once you recognize the nature of the repetitive thoughts, you can begin to appreciate them and realize that your thoughts are not you and that you have the power to let go of the thoughts. If you find that you are having a hard time letting go of these so-called negative thoughts, you can either short-circuit your thinking or write down the reverse meaning of the negative thought and turn it into a positive affirmation, such as from “You are not good enough” to “You are good enough.”
- Setting Boundaries in Family and Work. You may be a superwoman, lady! I tried that for decades and it always resulted in me getting burned out and dreaming of a vacation by the pool in Bali (which was completely impossible due to my hectic schedule). It’s time to set clear expectations and boundaries for what your schedule really allows. The best way to set limits on your hectic life is to literally say a big fat NO! to anything that does not bring you joy.
- Find your Zen by meditating regularly. I am a firm believer in the power of positive thinking. If you have the right mindset, you can accomplish anything! Meditating regularly helps me find my Zen, even when everything has gone down the drain! (Yes, we have all been there!) The best tool for getting into the right frame of mind is the Calm App. With this brilliant little app, your heart rate will be down in seconds and your mind will be calm in minutes!
- Make time for me OK! You need time for yourself. I know you feel like you need to be there 24/7 for your loved ones, but sometimes you need to be a little selfish and have a cup of tea or go for a walk. Having time for yourself is non-negotiable “Me-time” provides you with that little bit of sanctuary where you can be alone with yourself and begin to relax and clear out the negative thoughts clouding your subconscious. When you are alone, you can think about things without the distraction of little people or big babies (like your husband! Just kidding LOL). If your schedule has gotten a little out of hand and you are having a hard time finding your well-deserved “me-time”… then maybe it’s time to break old habits and organize your schedule! As I like to say, “Out with the old, in with the new!” Why not try a digital calendar like Life Sorted, a centralized family calendar that allows you to organize all your appointments in one place With Life Sorted, you can see everyone’s family appointments at a glance, so you can find the perfect time to take time off. Or simply block out your calendar each week with a simple, repeating event.
5.Unleash Your Creativity. Letting your creativity run wild can be a great way to practice emotional self-care. Mental health experts recommend that creative activities like art, painting or crafting can help process emotions, relieve stress, reduce anxiety and boost self-esteem. There’s nothing better than sitting (or standing) down and creating something with your hands and mind (our brains are so cluttered, it’s good to take care of your brain by getting rid of all your thoughts, feelings and inhibitions on a canvas or craft).I love taking time for myself and making a macramé wall hanging for my friends and family. If you have no idea what I am talking about, learn this macramé tutorial that will knock your socks off!
- Accept that you are not perfect! This may sound harsh, but as a former perfectionist, I know firsthand that you should not set the bar too high! I suffered from perfectionism for more than half of my life. I was one of those first-class perfectionists who constantly strived to make everything freaking perfect! Eventually, I found the light and began to accept my flaws and allow imperfection in every corner of my life. After I got used to imperfection, my self-esteem improved, my nerves disappeared and I was no longer anxious about the little things! To combat perfectionism, start small by setting realistic goals and accomplishments, you know yourself better than anyone else, do not attempt the impossible!
- Find a healthy support system. Find a support network or person you can interact with regularly to ensure your mind is always in the right frame of mind or in need of a little readjustment. Do you know the people in your life who inspire you? They could be close friends, colleagues or even superiors! You will know exactly who these people are because every time you see them, you feel re-centered, energized and clearer after talking to them! So, there you have it, my ideas on emotional self-care… I hope it was helpful! Your emotional self-care routine is EVERYTHING, because without a healthy mindset, life will continue to be a drag. Be sure to regularly listen to your mind, feelings and thoughts and make the necessary changes before you get into a rut.
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