Posted by: Cathy | February 5, 2020

Self-Soothing comes before Self-Care

I’m learning to recognize the difference between needing self-care and needing self-soothing.

“Self-care” has been a buzz-word for a few years now, but it doesn’t look at the root need. Doing self-care practices without looking at the underlying issues may not give you true comfort.

When I am stressed, I tend to reach for salty snacks. A “self-care” practice may be to journal or take a nap instead of snack, but those don’t necessarily address why I’m feeling stressed. A more healing practice would begin with self-soothing, recognizing that I am stressed and validating that I am whole and have the power to say “no” to stress.

“There are days I drop words of comfort on myself like falling leaves and remember that it is enough to be taken care of by myself.” Brian Andreas

I can tend to the part of me experiencing stress to make me feel safe and supported by grounding with my breath and visualizing myself as whole and healthy. Taking a moment to meditate and visualize will help slow my breathing, immediately reducing the lizard-brain stress response. Once I have reduced the reactive response in my mind, I can look more clearly at what kind of self-care practice would truly comfort me in that moment. Then that practice can give me more of what I need because I chose it mindfully.

When was the last time you did some self-soothing? What could you do to really give yourself some comfort and support today?

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