Self-soothing is a skill that you can use anywhere and at anytime. Coming up with a specific self-soothing plan can help you in times of struggle. It is a concept that I have become aware of through the distress tolerance aspect of Dialectical Behavioral Therapy.
Think of things that are soothing using your 5 senses:
– Smell: lavender or peppermint oil, burning candles, fresh herbs (like basil or rosemary), scented lotion, coffee beans
– Sight: a painting, photographs, nature scenery, looking at positive quotes
– Sound: music, the hum of a fan, nature sounds (look in your smart phone app store), a book on tape
– Touch: cuddling with a pet, swaddle yourself in a soft blanket, hold a stuffed animal, hold a warm cup of tea
– Taste: gum, hard candies (be careful not to have too many!), flavored tea or coffee
What else comes to mind after reading these examples? Come up with a self-soothing plan that works for you! Make it as elaborate or as simple as you desire. For example, carrying with you scented lotion or oil, having pictures on your phone of something beautiful, and wrapping up with a warm soft scarf is a way to have your self-soothing plan with you on the go.
Remember to utilize what you’ve chosen when you start to feel yourself get upset. See if you can set a goal to decrease your anxiety or fear by soothing yourself in a healthy way.