Since my 30th birthday, I’ve been blogging every 19th of the month. I started “Mental Health Monday” for May’s Mental Health Awareness Month & thought that today’s blog should reflect on the work I’ve been sharing.
Today I’d like to share some self-soothing tips for the 5 senses. Before jumping into these techniques I’d like to explain the kind of therapy this is.
So if you’ve been tapping in weekly to Mental Health Monday, you’ll notice I’ve been speaking on Cognitive Behavioral Therapy also known as CBT. Today I’ll be discussing Dialectical Behavior Therapy also know as DBT. Dialectical Behavior Therapy is a type of cognitive behavioral therapy. With this therapy, the goals are to teach people how to live in the moment, develop healthy ways to cope with stress, regulate their emotions, & improve their relationships with others.
Throughout this pandemic, it’s safe to we’ve all been under some stress. We most definitely have not all been living in the moment with worries of the future. We haven’t been regulating our emotions properly because we’ve never lived through anything like this before. As a result of this our relationships with family, friends, & lovers, may have or be suffering.
Self-soothing is a quick & effective way to reduce the intensity of your emotions, feelings, & anxiety. There are techniques for all 5 senses: sight, sound, touch, smell, & taste.
For sight: you may find that low lighting, soothing colors, nature views, sleeping masks, coloring books, art, favorite movies or shows, games, may all be of comfort.
For sound: you may find hearing calming noises, nature sounds, sound bowls, meditation music, your favorite music, audiobooks, & even laughter may all be soothing.
For touch: you may find being able to touch anything soft & cuddly such as a pet or a teddy bear may be of comfort. Getting or giving massages. Squeezing a stress ball. Using a heated or weighted blanket. Creating & playing with slime. Playing with fidget spinners. Walking or sitting in the grass or even playing in or touching sand may bring you this feeling of comfort.
For smell: you may find that fresh air, aromatherapy, candles, incense, lotion, or even cooking your favorite meal may bring some sense of relaxation with the smells they provide.
For taste: you may find that eating something sweet or salty is soothing. I know with everyone trying to eat cleaner maybe substituting the sweets & saltiness for something healthier is better for you. Trying new foods can also be exciting & comforting for some. Drinking warm drinks such as teas or coffee. Making a smoothie with your favorite fruits can also provide a sense of touch & taste with needing to wash the fruit & then drink it.
I hope these self-soothing tips help. Some of my favorites are seeing nature views, listening to meditation music, cuddling with my little Louie Bear, walking along the shoreline barefoot, lighting candles, incense, sage, palo santo, taking spiritual baths, as well as cooking & eating some of my favorite or even new meals. These little things make all the difference for me & truly lift my spirits which we all can use.
Remember to be gentle with yourself during this process. It’s easy to get frustrated & angry when we mess up or don’t get something right on the first try, if you find yourself in that space take a moment to breathe & center yourself. Repeat as many times as needed.
Also keep in mind, that we are no good to anyone without taking care of ourselves first, so sooth yourself, treat yourself, but most importantly be kind to yourself.