Cultivating an Emotional Self-Care Routine
Self-care is great, and it is the gateway to begin listening and going deeper with yourself. However, if you stay at the door with massages, mani-pedis, and workouts and don’t go deeper and get intentional about how you care for yourself you may feel begin to feel a self-care plateau so to speak, where self-care begins to feel more like a buzzword than an essential part of your healing and growth process.
For women or people in general that are more feminine in nature and very connected to their body, emotions, and senses — I highly suggest caring for your emotional and energetic well-being on purpose.
That is why this episode is about cultivating an emotional and energetic self-care routine, specifically.
I will lay out a couple of key things to consider when nurturing your emotional and energetic health as part of your daily lifestyle.
The first thing I want to say is don’t get too overwhelmed, take it one step at a time – one of the things we will cover (here and on our Instagram @healingthefeminine) is how to develop new habits that support your emotional wellness.
As we dive in, ask yourself the question – what are your needs around your emotional wellness. Write them all down. Ideas such as therapy, yoga, meditation, massages, spa days, time with girlfriends – may come to mind.
Go ahead and list it – do a complete mind and heart dump.
As you do so, think about how often you may need each – with what frequency, daily, monthly, bi-weekly.
Feel free to pause this episode to finish, if you’d like to go along with me.
Ok, now that you have your needs and wants laid out. Think about how you could create this into a routine.
For example – I schedule a monthly girls’ brunch – to make sure I am getting some quality uninterrupted girlfriend time. Another example could be I create time for daily reading to calm my mind and explore new ideas.
Two tips here: 1. Let it be easy, whatever your goal is, allow yourself to ease into it. For example with the daily reading – if your goal is to read an hour per day, maybe start with 15 minutes or something you can easily stick to. Maybe you realize daily reading is not your thing and you prefer to set aside a chunk of time on a Saturday morning to get into a book.
Second, it’s ok to ramp up. The main thing is to begin to integrate the action into your life consistently, allowing it to become a habit. Once it becomes a habit keeping it up will become natural, and you can expand from there if you like.
A really good book about creating new habits is The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg. In it he discussed the concept of a Habit Loop. He defines a Habit Loop as a neurological loop that governs any habit. The habit loop consists of three elements: a cue, a routine, and a reward. Understanding these elements can help in understanding how to change bad habits or form better ones.”
One of the frameworks I suggest for my clients for consistent emotional self-care is called the Foundational Five – it used to be the Foundational Four and it has since evolved.
The Foundational Five are:
1. Move your body
2. Meditate and calm your mind
3. Fuel your energy with proper nutrition, thoughts, media, and the company you keep
4. Reflect on your inner emotional state. This is not to be confused with replaying old scenarios. And more about taking the time to reflect on your inner state, what you may be holding on to, where resistance may be coming up, and where you may want to re-align
5. Communicate – this is the one that has been added as we work to integrate our inner healing and bring it into our outside world. Communicate when and where necessary.
This leads to something we discussed in the last episode and will probably continue to come up because it is so important in terms of emotional and energetic wellness as we heal our inner Feminine – and this is Functional Boundaries.
As you get clear on what you need for your emotional self-care, it will be important to set inner and outer boundaries to make sure your needs are met.
This includes cultivating the inner discipline to honor your word to yourself and meet your needs in the ways you need to.
The other part of this is also communicating your needs and preferences with the people in your life and finding a functional boundary that works for the relationship.
Setting boundaries can take a lot of courage for some and doing so will deepen your self-love.
It won’t always be easy to uphold boundaries with yourself or with others – release the shame and guilt about how it seems to be going, and embrace it as a practice and something that you get to be better at.
Speaking of self-love – date yourself. I encourage dating yourself, in addition to the people in your life, to get to know yourself better.
Dating doesn’t always have to be romantic. Just like dating is a healthy continued practice in a marriage to maintain and deepen the connection, I believe this is a healthy part of cultivating any relationship, including with yourself.
We are ever-changing beings – we grow and evolve.
Our feelings, needs, and wants change. Making a habit of continuing to get to know yourself, paying attention to what is present for you, and listening is pivotal.
This also includes getting curious about your why, maybe even exploring your life purpose, and how you want to contribute to this planet – from a place of healthy interdependence.
We discussed codependence in the last episode and that alone is a healing journey. The need to give can often come from the need to prove your worthiness.
This is not what I mean here. If giving and giving is all you know – maybe right now your purpose is simply to love and get to know yourself.
As you do so, many find that the desire to be of service emerges – from a place of love and compassion, not self-sacrifice and emptiness.
Part of the work is to begin to discern the two – as you deepen your self-awareness and what motivates you.
Last but not least, allow your emotional self-care routines to grow and evolve. It is supposed to serve you – so if it no longer serves you release it and allow it to shift.
Self-care routines where you truly give yourself mindful care and attention help manifest a life you love from the inside out.
The more you maintain your self-care routine, you will find your emotional and energetic landscape becomes a beautiful canvas to create from.
Neuroscientist and author Candace Pert said, “Emotions are the nexus between matter and mind, going back and forth between the two and influencing both.”
One of the reasons I’m so passionate about the emotional and energetic body is because it is literally where you create from. This is a spiritual truth that also has been scientifically proven.
Many speak of changing your thoughts and this is definitely powerful. For many changing our thoughts comes as we heal emotionally, they’re intertwined.
You will find that honoring your emotional health as much as any other area of your life will prove immensely valuable.