Ask yourself, “What do I need at this moment?”

This is how you really practice real self-care.

Get in touch with your feelings and actual needs. Most of us reach for all that fake self-care as a way to cover up what we’re feeling. Reach for something that will help you experience your emotions. Calling a friend, moving your body, meditating, journaling, and going to therapy are all great ways to lean into a feeling rather than covering it up. Try to stay away from things that numb like alcohol or drugs.

Practice kindness. No feeling is final, even the good ones. You can say some variation of this to yourself: “Ok I am having this feeling. That’s ok. I am allowed to have this feeling.” You don’t react. You don’t judge.

Ask yourself, “What do I need at this moment?” Again, the key word here is need, not want. Really look at the feeling and identify it. Then ask yourself, “What has helped me with this before?” If you’re stuck, take a moment to breathe. I recommend making a list of all the coping skills you have available to you. Having a list of available resources helps eliminate that whole auto-pilot sensation that happens when we become flooded by emotion and are searching for comfort.