"Self-soothing behaviors consist of activities that can help you feel safe in your body, regulate your emotions, and cope with unhelpful thoughts or feelings. In essence, self-soothing is learning how to comfort yourself."
This year, I've had to learn how to comfort myself because let's be honest, we can't run to other people every single time we face difficult emotions.
Sure, a support system consisting of our trusted confidants and loved ones is essential to our emotional well-being—but so is cultivating a healthy relationship with ourselves. And that entails being comfortable sitting with our emotions and equipping ourselves with self-soothing techniques to ground us when we find ourselves stressed and overwhelmed.
If you're curious, here are my go-to self-soothing techniques that you can try:
- Hugging myself and gently rubbing my arms
- Box breathing
- Reframing negative thoughts with neutral or positive ones
Be kind to your mind
You can't control how other people talk to you, but you can practice speaking kindly to yourself.
If someone disrespects you or is mean to you, instead of drowning in self-defeat and further beating yourself up over it, try something new:
Affirm yourself. Think compassionate thoughts towards the person who hurt you—and towards yourself. It's the healing and productive response to hurt.
Be kind to your body
I had a productive Saturday planned out.
In the morning, I cleaned the house, gave a kid and a puppy a bath, and did my chores. In the afternoon, I was supposed to declutter my digital apps to prepare for next week, create a digital freebie for my newsletter subscribers, and hang out with friends.
Unfortunately, right after lunch, I was crippled by a headache. I spent the whole afternoon and evening falling asleep and waking to the pain (I even puked once before dinner).
Long story short, I didn't tick all the boxes on my to-do list.
It just reminded me how important it is to be kind to our bodies. Without taking good care of them, it would be impossible for us to achieve our dreams, nurture relationships, and even just enjoy a nice day off.
Be kind to your soul
How do you tend to your soul?
For me, it involves reading the Bible, praying, attending and serving at church services, and meeting with a Bible study group. When my schedule is full, it's easy for me to neglect my soul and it usually results in overwhelm, loneliness, and lack of motivation.
How about you? How do you nourish your soul? What happens when you don't?