Since we began the Self Care Sunday series, we’ve discussed what self-care is, why it’s important, and a few different self-care methods. For today’s post, I want to talk a little bit about the methods I use, what they are, and why they work for me. Everyone is different, so every person needs to find out what works for them.
This one may not seem like much, but it’s so important. Figuring out what you feel and why can provide you with the tools to figure out what you need to do about it. It can also potentially stop you from doing or saying things you’ll regret later. For example, I (like most people) get very cranky when I’m stressed out, frustrated, or even just hungry. Sometimes, I just need to take a step back and evaluate. What am I even stressed out over? Did something actually happen, or am I just tired and or hungry? Taking the time to self-evaluate helps me know what I need to do and stops me from taking it out on the people I love.
Sometimes we all need a mental or emotional break, and that’s ok. This can take a lot of different forms. It can be something like watching a movie, taking a nap, soaking in a bath or hot tub, or even just treating yourself to a favorite meal or candy. It could also be talking to a friend about literally anything besides the thing that’s triggering you. These are all examples that I’ve used for myself at one time or another. Recently, I had a really rough day. It was one of those days when everything that could possibly go wrong did. When it was over, I asked a friend of mine to watch a movie with me, and that was exactly what I needed, just a break from what I’d been dealing with since I’d woken up that morning.
Catharsis is basically “the process of releasing, and providing relief from, strong or repressed emotions.” This is useful if, like me, you have a tendency to bury your feelings about certain things or were taught or made to do so at one time or another. Repression doesn’t work; it just causes more damage. Catharsis is the antidote for that.
There’s a lot of different forms of catharsis. Expressing yourself creatively in writing, art, or drama is one way. Taking your feelings out on either something that won’t be too damaged by it (like a pillow or punching bag) is another. Some people play sports and take their feelings out on their opponents. My personal method is to read or watch something where the characters go through something similar to what I have. It reminds me that I’m not alone and that it’s ok to not be ok sometimes. It can also be helpful to listen to music that either matches your mood or music that’s the exact opposite.
Nerdy Nina already talked about aromatherapy in this series, so I won’t go too in-depth into what it is. It is something that I use when I have the supplies, though, and one of the scents I find most calming is Lavender.
Actually processing your emotions
This is a must because if you don’t process your emotions and the events behind them, they’ll keep coming back to haunt you. The thing is, though, you have to feel safe enough that you’re willing to be that honest and vulnerable with yourself. To do that, I usually use one or more of my other self-care techniques to get myself ready for that. Then I go to a quiet, private place where I can hear myself think and I don’t have to worry about anyone walking in on me. Then I let myself mentally and emotionally process whatever it is that’s wearing me down.
There are a lot of different forms of self-care, and everyone needs to figure out what works for them. It might take a little while to figure that out, but it’s absolutely worth it. So remember, self-care is a journey; take care of yourselves, friends!