How to Wallow Well: Seven Self Care Ideas

This blog post is NOT to put any pressure on you. There’s no ‘right’ way to wallow You wallow however you WANT to wallow.

But because there’s so much going on every day, it’s beneficial – for our mental health as well as our overall wellbeing – to wallow and feel ALL the feelings, I hope some of these simple self care ideas will help you:

Give yourself permission

It’s not natural to be all ‘love and light’. Shadow work includes owning positive feelings and traits (like exuberance, joy, power and potential) as well as the more familiar shadow traits like rage, anger, frustration, overwhelm, fear and vulnerability. By giving ourselves permission to feel all our feelings (this Thich Nhat Hanh meditation is one of my favourites), we also make it easier to integrate our shadows.

Make time for Skillful Mourning

Hearing this term at a trauma conference last summer changed my life. Each day, we’re confronted with more horrors from the news in addition to the everyday challenges and sometimes tragedies of personal life. It would be weird to NOT need to wallow and process the horrors of unarmed Black men (and sometimes women) being killed with impunity, Of course we struggle to process images of Afghan people so desperate to escape their homeland they died trying (falling from the airplane) and are literally giving their children away in hopes that if they can’t escape, hopefully their babies and children can. Haiti, terrorism… I could go on and on but you know the kind of thing that hits you in the gut when you hear about it. We can’t predict what new horrors will be coming up for healing but we CAN recognise that we’re human. It’s normal to care. You can set aside some flexibility and space to mourn – even when you don’t yet know WHAT will come up.


Even when you’re not exhausted, allow yourself to indulge in rest as if you were eating something really healthy. Rest is just as essential as nutritious food when it comes to our mental health and wellbeing. We aren’t wired to go go go Schedule in time to nap or take a longer break. Prioritise it now to avoid potential burnout later. Do you feel well rested right now? What would help you feel more rested? You only have one body.

Cry when you want to

This may not be appropriate in the exact MOMENT you want to but when you feel those tears coming, if you can’t allow the release right then, promise yourself to reconnect with the sadness, loss, stress or anger (or whatever’s behind them). Maybe later that day, listen to some mournful music, watch a tearjerking film or vent about HOW upset you are and let those tears flow. They offer release. They shift energy, release stress hormones and can be incredibly healing.

Give yourself a timeframe

When you think about a worthy wallow, you may imagine needing days, weeks or even months to process all the feelings but we humans are a pretty resilient species, even when anxious or after trauma You don’t need a full week to wallow, weep and wail. You don’t need a full weekend. You don’t even need a full day. Just SOME time to acknowledge rather than suppress your feelings. It might be an afternoon, an hour or even five minutes. Let yourself feel sorry for yourself or fearful for the fate of humans and the planet. Journal. Listen to your own Highest Self / Self / Atma / True Self / Miraculous Self etc and allow yourself to be surprised by the clarity that almost ALWAYS comes after a good wallow. (Not that it needs to be productive!) How much time, realistically, can you give yourself? This is almost always time spent better than repressing it as it leaks into other areas of life then,

Throw yourself a pity party

I talked about this in the book, 365 Ways to Feel Better: Self-care Ideas for Embodied Wellbeing Even the phrase pity party brings the beginnings of a little smile for me when I’m feeling sorry for myself. This is where your inner toddler has a lot of wisdom for you if you listen. Your version of a Pity Party may be a little tantrum. It might be turning your phone on silent. Going back to bed. I sometimes use black food colouring in my DIY colour therapy baths. It goes grey and looks GRIM but makes me smile in the acknowledgment that when I started to run the bath, I was feeling Very Sorry for Myself. What might you do for your own pity parties?

Know that you WILL bounce back

Allowing and acknowledging the need to wallow doesn’t mean overindulging. This isn’t about reducing your resourcefulness. It’s not about giving up or giving in. It’s about being real with yourself before springing into action and doing some of the things that you know can help you feel better. When we try to push ourselves to carry on regardless, the things that need our attention don’t miraculously go away. They disrupt us in other ways to get our attention. Actually allowing ourselves the time and space to acknowledge that we don’t feel ourselves and to be OK with that means we’re being more congruent than efforts to override our feelings allow. This brings us more energy. Acknowledging the reality of WHATEVER you choose to wallow about will, ultimately, help you make better, more empowered choices moving forward.

I hope these self care coaching tips help and you can READ MORE (NEWLY CATEGORISED) BLOG POSTS HERE

With love,

Eve Menezes Cunningham self care coach therapist supervisor

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