Self-Soothing Techniques you can turn into Habits
So... (Milly here), I had the pleasure of visiting a very lovely bunch of Year 11/12 ladies in Brisbane, Australia. What a difficult year for the people who were expecting it to be their best yet. Incredibly impressed with the way these young humans are handling everything 2020 has thrown at them, I felt inclined to toss in my favourite self-soothing techniques, to inspire mindful, self-care moments during a year that encourages everything but. I wanted to re-cap them here right, right now, but first, a 'oh that's not just me,' moment from our girl @alexisrockley:
So here's the thing: right now is a really difficult time and our physiology KNOWS it, therefore, we need to manually flick the switch from fight or flight mode back to neutral. These 2 self-soothing techniques can help alleviate any anxiety symptoms and remind your body that you are safe, that discomfort is not danger.
To manually switch nervous systems and reset to 'neutral': it's literally as simple as consciously taking the time to do 3x (or more) cycles of 4-7-8 breathing. Four seconds of breathing in, hold for seven seconds and then breathe out for eight.
Weirdly (yet exceptionally), your brain has the ability to time travel, AKA, worry about the past and the future OR things that are entirely made up. This 5-4-3-2-1 grounding technique is. a great self-soothing practice to have in your mental first aid toolbox. Here's the hack:
Name 5 things you can see.
Name 4 things you can hear.
Name 3 things you can feel.
Name 2 things you can smell.
Name 1 things you can taste.
Ps: If you don't have access to any of these senses, substitute in a gratitude list!
Place your hand over your heart. Just as mothers console their babies by patting their chest, you can put your hand over your heart to calm yourself. The heart is in the mid-chest, the center for unconditional love. When you touch it, love will be activated and start to send blissful biochemicals called endorphins throughout your body. -Psychology Today
PS: If self-soothing isn't quite cutting it for you, speak to a trusted friend, loved one or seek professional help from a psychologist or counsellor.
Crisis Lines: (Australia) For feeling anxious/ depressed: Beyond Blue (1300 22 4636) For personal or peer crisis: Lifeline (13 11 14) Emergency: Call 000
Crisis Lines: (USA/UK) For feeling anxious/ depressed: Crisis Text Line USA: Text HELLO to 741741 UK: Text HELLO to 85258 Emergency: Call 911
Be gentle with yourself and take care out there,