Learn How To Self-Soothe To Cope With The Lockdown
May 31st, 2021 at 6:36 am
Remember the self-care ratio we shared? It narrowed down the focus of self-care to: future relief, instant relief and basic needs. Instant relief is also known as self-soothing, which is a short-term fix to a stressor. It’s the candles, bubble baths and other quick remedies that provide us with short-term stress-relief.
Self-soothing is a skill that can help us cope during these overwhelming times and tolerate the uncomfortable emotions we’ve been feeling on a daily basis. From experiencing big life changes, to emotional exhaustion and burnout, it’s become crucial for us to know how to handle these tough situations by calming ourselves down, making space for difficult feelings and developing a perspective.
If you shake your legs when you’re agitated, or bite your nails when you’re nervous, you’ve actually been self-soothing. Without even knowing it, that’s how you’ve been comforting yourself when facing anxiety, fear and trauma – it’s your way of letting yourself know that you’ll be okay. However, that doesn’t mean that you don’t need to learn how to self-soothe.
Learning how to self-soothe teaches us how to notice the strong, unpleasant feelings during moments of stress and anxiety, before we start to feel overwhelmed by them. Being able to identify and acknowledge these negative emotions allows us to consciously choose healthy ways to cope, find our balance and be kind to ourselves. Without it, we may find ourselves turning to unhealthy coping tools, lashing out or completely avoiding the situation.
To self-soothe, pay attention to your five senses – touch, sound, sight, smell and taste. What self-care activities appeal to each one of them and, to put it simply, feel like a warm hug? Remember that we all find comfort in different things, so it isn’t a one-size-fits-all practice. Here are some self-soothing strategies to get you started!
- Put on comfy clothes
- Wrap yourself in a blanket
- Take a shower or a bath
- Give yourself a massage
- Squeeze a stress ball, clay or slime
- Listen to binaural beats
- Play nature sounds
- Follow a guided meditation
- Singalong to your favourite songs
- Turn on ASMR
- Dim the lights
- Put on your favorite TV show or movie
- Watch “oddly satisfying” videos
- Use mood lights
- Wear a sleeping mask
- Get some fresh air
- Light scented candles or incense
- Put on scented lotion
- Spray air freshener
- Turn on an essential oil diffuser
- Make yourself a warm drink
- Chew on gum or suck on a lollipop
- Have a hot meal
- Eat something with strong flavours
- Savour a snack
Avoid unhealthy coping mechanisms, like drinking alcohol, smoking cigarettes and binge eating, because these compulsive cravings will cause further stress and anxiety.
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