Self-care is an important daily task that should automatically be included in your daily routine. Even a few short minutes to yourself can give you the energy boost you need to plow through everything you need to do. However, when strong feelings arise that you don’t know how to deal with, taking a self-care timeout may be an urgent step to help you process uncomfortable emotions. Check the list of feelings below and their self-care strategies that may aid you in effectively dealing with and getting rid of unwanted emotional and mental baggage.
- I feel overwhelmed so I need to take a break. Step away from whatever is causing you to feel overwhelmed and do something else you enjoy and that brings you peace. Then when you’re feeling better, go back and see if you can break down what you were doing into smaller tasks, slowly getting it done, one step at a time.
- I feel stressed so I need to focus on relaxation. When life is stressful you need to do things that relax and calm you; take a walk, have a bath, read, pray, meditate, do some restorative yoga poses, light a candle and just sit, talk to a friend, garden, draw, journal or colour. Do whatever takes the tension out of your shoulders and worries from your mind.
- I feel anxious so I need to practice my coping skills. Try this exercise next time you feel anxious or overwhelmed: Name 5 things you can see, 4 things you can hear, 3 things you can feel, 2 things you can smell and 1 thing you can taste. This helps ground you and shifts your focus away from what is upsetting you. Check the chart further in the post with more great coping skill ideas. Talk to a health care professional if feelings of anxiety become more frequent and/or debilitating.
- I feel sad so I need to be more loving toward myself. When you have a case of the blues, be kind to yourself. Don’t demand too much of yourself, take it easy and relax. Do something you enjoy, eat a favourite meal or snack or connect with a loved and trusted friend or family member.
- I feel angry so I need to find a positive outlet. Smashing dishes is not the answer here. Sometimes a good workout helps to let off some steam. Step away from the situation or person who is making you angry and come back when you feel more calm. Write your feelings out on paper or offer them to God. Let them go.
- I feel drained so I need to rest my body, mind and soul. Take a nap, zone out with some Netflix binge watching or take a mini vacation. Even a drive in the country can feel like a getaway from the busyness of life.
- I feel broken so I need to practice self-compassion. Give yourself time to heal and don’t put any time limits or expectations on yourself. Return to routines when you are ready not when someone tells you to. Only you know when you are feeling better and ready to return to normal life.
- I feel upset so I need to find love and support. Sometimes a hug or a good cuddle is all that you need to chase those sad feelings away. Talk to people you trust who have your back no matter what and if necessary, talk to a therapist who can steer you in the right direction in overcoming unwanted emotions.
Your emotions are valid and you are allowed to feel things. Just don’t unpack and stay there. Do whatever it takes to feel better. Coping skills look different for everyone so don’t compare yourself to anyone. Do what feels right for you!
Be Pretty, Plus and Proud and let yourself feel happy, sad, angry, overwhelmed, anxious, stressed or drained. You’re human and humans have emotions. Not all days are good so it’s important to figure out what helps you feel better in tough times. Make sure your coping skills aren’t destructive; overspending, overeating, consuming too much alcohol or recreational drugs. Remember there’s no shame in seeking outside help.
I wish you peace, love, calmness, happiness and wonderful days ahead! I pray the good days outweigh the bad!