Emotional Self-Care: Trusting the Self

Emotional self-care is grounded in trusting myself as I navigate a daily barrage of unsupported opinions, biases, and prejudices that deny the truth of how I walk through life. Trusting my instincts is a struggle when the stories all around me become louder and more dominant that the story of my being. Immersion in the communities that affirm my experiences and understandings support me in ways that would be impossible in any other form.

Spiritual wellness from scratch.

Regardless of how it happened, what is absolutely clear is that attending to spiritual wellness, even when I didn’t know exactly what I was doing, connected me to a sense of purpose. And, connecting to that sense of purpose has helped me figure out what spiritual resources I might have, even though I’ve ignored that dimension of wellness for a long time.

Why telling people to care for themselves doesn’t work, and what leaders can do instead.

This article is for leaders of caring organizations who work hard to take care of their people. The words and action steps below reflect perspectives and experiences of caring professionals who have generously and kindly shared with me what they have learned about self-care.

Self-care for people who don’t want to practice yoga or eat more vegetables.

Self-care is important, and it is my belief that self-care is a professional responsibility for caring professionals. And, sometimes, a latte—no matter how delicious—isn’t what my body, mind, and heart wants or needs. If you want to practice self-care, but don’t want to practice yoga or eat more vegetables, start with something you want to do. Leave the rest for someone who likes that kind of stuff.

Rule #1 to working happier: Never attend a meeting without an agenda.

Do you believe that anyone has the right to take away even a minute of any human being’s life? The question may seem exaggerated, but if you are a leader with the power to require people to spend time with you, you have a tremendous responsibility to ensure that whenever you are requiring the presence of human beings that each minute is about living your organization’s values out loud.


As caring professionals we have outcomes set by others and goals we set for ourselves. Understandably, we want to see some visible evidence that what we are doing matters. However, while working towards goals is important—individually, as a team, and as an organization—what probably matters more are all the small actions, micromoves, we take to make the larger outcome possible.

Take care.

Every client I work with is a caring professional, or leads an organization of caring professionals. For most of us, serving others and working for social justice gives us purpose and meaning. However, many of us struggle to care for ourselves, often because we either view self-care as selfish, or as a luxury to indulge when the work gets done. I’d like to invite you to consider what might happen if instead we viewed self-care as a professional responsibility.