10 Easy Ways to Soothe Yourself

Are you feeling as though your circuits are fried? Is your capacity for focus and patience completely tapped out? Rest assured: You're not alone. Many people from all walks of life are experiencing a state of overdrive and a sense of overwhelm. Fortunately, there are simple things you can do to soothe yourself. Here are several ideas to get you started.

10 Easy Ways to Soothe Yourself
Photo by Brett Jordan on Unsplash

1. Take a Long Shower

Get out your favorite hair and skin products and take a leisurely, hot shower. While using hot water all the time dries out the skin, it's okay to turn up the temperature every once in a while. You'll feel soothed and comforted. Be sure to use deeply hydrating and calming products. Do you have scalp issues and aren't sure where to look for help? Do a search using terms such as products for scalp psoriasis to find the right formulation for you.

2. Try Box Breathing

Do you notice that when you're stressed out, you hold your breath or breathe shallowly? That's a typical response to the sympathetic nervous system getting triggered. It's a normal survival mechanism. To reverse it, consider a technique called box breathing. Search for an app to help you learn the technique.

3. Focus On Your Senses

The stress response has a lot to do with catastrophic thinking and ruminating. By focusing on your senses, you interrupt this destructive loop, get out of your head, and ground yourself in the present moment. Pull out some essential oils and inhale deeply. Feel some luxurious fabric. Get a massage. You get the idea.

4. Limit News Exposure

The 24/7 news cycle has been especially intense in recent years. Even if you're simply staying current, you probably have noticed that scrolling through the news for any length of time brings down your mood. Do everything you can to limit your news exposure, and increase your sense of agency by doing things that improve people's lives in your community and society at large.

5. Hug Yourself

There's nothing quite like a hug. Hugging releases oxytocin, a soothing, bonding hormone. Giving and receiving hugs with loved ones and pets is nurturing and calming. But what if you're by yourself? Believe it or not, hugging yourself does bring benefits. Try it when you're relaxing on the couch, or when you get a moment of privacy during a busy day.

6. Get Artsy

Painting, making music, or dancing are powerful ways to release pent-up energy and emotion. You get to choose your level of intensity, medium, and approach. Getting artsy in any way will help you feel more in control and become a generative, positive creator.

7. Get Outside

Staying indoors for too long can increase your stress level and bring a feeling of isolation. Getting outside in nature is soothing and restorative, especially if you put your phone away. Get your body on the ground to boost the relaxing effect.

8. Try Restorative Yoga

Though the more active types of yoga tend to be most popular, the restorative type is an effective practice for increasing relaxation and resilience. Also, there's not a lot of technique to learn! Go on YouTube to find a restorative sequence, or stretch out in community. Regularly doing restorative yoga (particularly the legs up the wall pose) will make a real difference in your level of serenity.

9. Validate Yourself

Yes, it's a good idea to break the chain of rumination and repetitive thought that leads to stress. It's also important, though, to identify and validate what your current state is. Then, you'll have the awareness to work toward change if you wish. If you find that it's a continuous challenge to soothe yourself, consider attending a support group or speaking to a counselor. Doing so will help you move in a positive direction and feel more supported.

10. Drink a Cup of Tea

While coffee is an invigorating, stimulating beverage, tea tends to be more relaxing — especially if it's caffeine-free. Consider trying teas that contain chamomile, passionflower, or lavender. Make it a calm, soothing ritual.

Self-soothing involves gentle self-awareness and a willingness to do things a bit differently. Give these ideas a try to increase your sense of comfort.