During these times, we are all under more stress related to uncertainty, change, and the threat of the ongoing pandemic. Self-calming activities are ways to stop and ease the signs and symptoms of stress. Self-calming has been shown to benefit both physical and mental health, as it puts an end to damaging thoughts. Self-calming is a skill for your emotional and physical well-being. By taking charge of your emotions, you can practice self-soothing techniques to prevent getting overloaded by stress and feel happier.
Healthy ways to self-calm that are free, and you can do at any time and anywhere!
1. Deep Breathing. It is really quite easy and can be done at any time. Some people use an app to focus themselves while others can simply relax in a comfortable spot. The basics are to take a deep breath in to the count of 5, hold for 2 seconds, and then release to the count of 5. Take nice full breathes that fill your belly with air. You can even place a hand on your belly to ensure proper breathing techniques. Try to inhale through your nose and exhale through your mouth. And repeat. Try just 3 minutes of continuous deep breathing for a soothing effect.
2. Take a bubble bath.
3. Visualize a time and a place when you were happy, calm, and relaxed. Where were you? What can you see, colors, things, people? What smells do you remember? What sounds were there? What memories were made? What could you touch or feel? How did your body feel? Add deep breathing to this exercise for a fuller calming effect. Try to engage as many senses as you can to get a more enriched experience.
4. Make a cup of soothing tea.
5. Practice self-compassion. Your thoughts do impact how you are feeling. Be kind to yourself whenever possible. Replace negative thoughts with positive ones that enhance your well-being.
6. Spend time with a pet.
7. Use “Coping Statements” like: -This is tough, but I’ve been through tough things before and made it ok.
– This too will pass.
– This present moment is the place where I have control.
– I cannot change what has happened but I can control how I respond.
– Even though I feel stress, I can still feel grateful.
– One step at a time, one day at a time, one hour at a time.
8. Get out into nature, take deep breathes, and take note of and appreciate the beauty, sights, and sounds of spring.
9. Listen to music.
10. Engage in a hobby you enjoy – Garden or do yard work, work on a car, take a long, hot shower, exercise, cook, play a musical instrument, look at photos, or read.
Written By Carrie Company