5 Simple Emotional Self Care Ideas to Relieve Your Stress and Improve Your Mental Health

Are you suffering through your busy life only to feel stressed and depleted at the end of the day? These 5 simple emotional self care ideas can be just what you need to decompress, release stress and improve your mental health.

Whether you incorporate 1 idea or all 5, you can experience a shift in how you approach changing your mental disposition by intentionally focusing on your emotional status. Acknowledge how you feel. Decide that you no longer want to feel the way you do at this moment. And take decisive action to move in another direction.

Your emotional state can impact your total well being and therefore it is important to identify the state that is healthiest for you in the moment and to do your best to direct yourself there.

This post provides 5 easy-to-.implement emotional self care ideas that can help you with your mental health and put you on the path to feeling better.

Emotional Self Care Ideas

#1 Watch a favorite movie or tv show from your childhood

emotional self care activities

Watching tv or movies can be the perfect way to ease your mind, lift your spirits, and transport your thoughts to a good place.

The magic begins when you truly allow yourself to be emersed in the experience. And particularly in movies or shows that have nostalgic origins, you can find yourself rekindling deep-seated positive emotions that you have not visited in years.

Allow an old movie to make you laugh out loud again. Or curl up under a blanket and binge-watch a show that you could never get enough of when you were younger.

While any light-hearted movie or show could do, when you relive a past positive experience you provide yourself a compounded effect of acting on your inspiration, reliving happy memories, enjoying fun, laughter and excitement, and it all being uniquely special to you.

The power of your personal joy rests within you and you made it come to life.

Choose your topic with the explicit goal in mind to be good to yourself and to be 10x happier than when you sat down and started watching. Keep a running list of go-to favorites to immediately enjoy the next time your day seems to wipe you out.

Share the Moment

emotional self care ideas

Family time is a perfect time to pass on the magic of your favorite show or film. Not only can you share what you love with others, but you can also share the habit to relax and decompress after a hard day.

Let your family and friends know that when you think of moments that make you feel better, you think to include them in the process.

Honor these special moments even more by extending your favorites lists with new suggestions from your loved ones and scheduling regular nights to watch together.

#2 Start a diary

example of emotional self care

While a planner or a journal can be filled with agendas, to-do lists, journal prompts, and other predefined purposes, a diary can be a free and unlabeled space to simply express yourself, if you let it.


Enjoy a diary just for the fun of having one. Diaries often give space for the sharing of your story:  your hopes, your dreams, and your day gone by. 

What happened today and how did it make you feel?  Who are you excited to see tomorrow and what person made you feel crazy today?

Your life is a whirlwind experience and it’s a story worth telling and remembering. Emotional self care can be as simple as showing yourself that you actually care about your life by writing it all down.

#3 Expand your emotional intelligence

Knowing your feelings and how to express them is not easy.  We all learn as we go and it is helpful when we gain knowledge of how to feel connected and understand what we feel.

Too often emotions can come to the surface. And when they are more challenging feelings such as fear, doubt, hopelessness, or tension, it can be hard to know what to do with them now that they are here.

Emotional intelligence is your ability to recognize and understand emotions in yourself and others, and your ability to use this awareness to manage your behavior and relationships.

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There are books, online assessments, tools, and more that are made to make you more aware of your feelings and to understand the plethura of feelings that exist. You also can spend time with yourself to think through the origin of your emotions, your triggers for certain emotions to appear, and your best methods to cope with or redirect emotions when they feel intense or unexpected.

Take the time to understand emotion as it relates solely to you. Seek to understand the impact your emotional status has on your life. Allow yourself to feel more attuned with your feeling body and your unique form of self expression.

#4 Connect with a professional for personal guidance

emotional self care practices

Your emotional well-being can be a very fragile thing amongst the harsh elements of the world. Not everyone is able to navigate alone through situations deemed important and impactful to their sense of well being.  

Seeking help from a professional, whether it is a therapist, physician, coach, or mentor, can make all the difference in learning how to cope with life challenges and gain assistance with emotional growth. Remember that your health insurance or employer may have referral recommendations in addition to trusted family and friends.

You can also use referral service platforms like BetterHelp that can link you with a trained professional who has experience with the specific issues that you are facing. These types of services are particularly helpful when you don’t even know where to start to seek help, feel apprehensive and you need guidance through the process.

Instead of forcing yourself to take on heavy or confusing emotional tasks alone, seeking help can be a much-needed form of self care for your emotional well being.

#5 Be intentional with your joy

types of emotional self care

Plan, with intention, opportunities for you to have happy and joyful experiences. 

This can include planning a special dinner with a friend but also taking time to pack your work bag the night before to avoid a frenzy in the morning.

Joy can represent itself as doing things that create calm when you feel that you are always anxious. Or adopting a new sleep ritual when you can’t remember the last time you got a good night’s sleep.

Don’t wait until life makes a way for your joy to happen. And don’t wait for permission from your job, your family, or your over=anxious mind worried about your never-ending to-do list. Make It Happen.

Practice self-awareness regularly and learn what brings joy and peace into your daily life. Then with this learning, intentionally make space for the people, activities, and circumstances that are most joyful to you. 


Your emotional and mental well being is an important facet of a well rounded, happy life. But when you feel disconnected from your emotional health, it can seem overwhelming to get through life’s everyday matters.

Use this list of emotional self care ideas as a starting point to direct yourself to prioritize your personal awareness and self care practices. Whether you use them daily or had them in your toolbox of things to do to enhance your well-being, emotional self care is an asset for a better you.

Was this list of emotional self care ideas useful to you? Did this list spark any new ideas for your self care overall? If so, please share your experience in the Comments below.

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