Ways to Self-Soothe
In addition to the traditional ways to self-soothe, such as taking a bath, reading a book, aromatherapy, and etc, here are some other tips to build your self-soothing skills:
1. Create a calm, loving voice inside of you that is unconditionally accepting. It may help to think of a best friend, a co-worker, your therapist, or even someone you met in passing. Imagine their energy and presence, take it into yourself, and think of what they would say about the situation.
2. Physically hug, rub, or wrap yourself with something comfortable (i.e., a soft blanket).
3. Tell yourself, over and over, “You’re going to be okay,” “You’ve been through worse and survived. You’re living proof you’ll get through this,” or “This too shall pass.”
4. In response to criticism, you can tell yourself, “It’s okay to not be perfect,” “I am good just the way I am,” or “We are all imperfect, and so am I.”
5. Once you feel a little more calm, begin asking yourself what it is you need at this moment. Your needs are important, especially in times of distress. It may be that the little voice inside you says you need to go for a walk, or to hug yourself a little longer, or for you to continue saying comforting words. Whatever it is you need, give yourself that. And if you have trouble hearing your needs, continue to soothe or hug yourself in the midst of your emotions.
6. Remind yourself that everything in life is impermanent. No exceptions. So what you’re going through now will eventually shift and change. Allow yourself to go through the emotions, surfing the waves with the board of your self-compassion. And soon you’ll find yourself somewhere new.