We all have goals, passions, and responsibilities. Meanwhile, we’re each limited to 24 hours per day. What happens when your mission collides with life’s limitations? Often, it means burn out. In those times when energy is low and motivation is hard to find, we need to self-soothe. Sure, our friends and loved ones can help. But at the end of the day, we are our own best caretaker. And it begins with the basics!

Self-Care Basics

  1. Regular sleep patterns (whatever that may mean to you)
  2. Healthy eating habits (perhaps begin by chewing longer and slower)
  3. Daily exercise and activity (especially if you have a desk job)
  4. Stress management and relaxation techniques (like yoga, Tai Chi, breathing exercises, and meditatio

Once you’ve introduced these basics into your life, it’s time to let your self-care creativity flow! What good is self-soothing if you don’t have some fun in the process?

Techniques To Self-Soothe And Take Care Of Yourself

  1. Talk to yourself

Be aware of the thoughts you are having.  Be curious with the parts of you that are anxious, sad and feeling blue.  Can you empathize with them and let them know you understand?  Find out what is going on.  Was something triggered by something that you weren’t aware of?  Are you needing some down time and rest?  How will you know if you don’t take some time to check in and become more familiar with your needs,

  1. Change your daily routine

Your brain loves variety. Take a different route to work or school. Try a new food. Work out at a different gym. Dedicate an entire weekend to acting like a tourist in your hometown. Whatever it is you choose, allow yourself to bask in the fresh, new vibes.

  1. Play air guitar for at least one full song

Or air saxophone or drums or piano. Or just dance your heart out. But you have to do it for a full song and completely commit to the process. Connect with your inner rock star or pop diva and let loose!

  1. Delete some of those negative Facebook “friends”

There’s no law that says you have to tolerate toxic comments or flame wars. Tailor your social media experience to your unique needs. The unfriend function exists for a reason.

  1. Tell other social media contacts how much you appreciate them

Is there someone who always makes you laugh? What about that person who finds the most touching memes? Tell them! Set aside time to share the love and see how good you feel. And don’t be surprised to feel some love flowing back in your direction.

  1. Unplug from your devices for a while

It almost sounds cliché now, but it’s essential. Turn off the phone and laptop. Stand up. Stretch and detach. Move. Have a real conversation. Or perhaps take some alone time.

  1. Volunteer

This one never gets old. When you need some self-soothing, reach out and help someone else. It could be an official volunteer opportunity. It could be a random act of kindness. There are no rules except helping.

  1. Take yourself on a really fun date

Dinner and movie? On your own? You bet! Raise your standard and treat yourself. Combine this with the “no phone” method and you can have a true solo experience. At the end of this night, you will definitely be adding a little note to your overflowing memory jar.

There will be times when self-care feels impossible. That’s when it gets ironic. Sometimes, the best form of self-soothing is to get yourself some help! Talking with a counselor will help you recognize old patterns and create new strategies.

By CounselingWise & Rachel McDavid on April 10, 2017