HOW TO SELF-SOOTHE WHEN YOU FEEL STRESSED

What’s your go-to when you feel stressed?  Some of us head to the fridge and inhale the contents, others shut down and withdraw.  Maybe you reach for the wine glass and keep pouring ‘til the last drop.   Guess what, we all behave in ways that sabotage us sometimes.  These behaviours can have their roots in childhood.  You might have picked up messages that feelings like sadness or anger aren’t acceptable. (Hands up if you were a “good girl” – might be time to reflect on whose benefit that was for).  But (happy dance), there’s a better way to self-soothe when you’re feeling stressed.
Think about when you were a little girl.  Were you taken seriously when you felt upset?  Perhaps you were afraid of the adults in your life and it wasn’t safe to express yourself.  Growing up you might have stuffed your feelings down with food. Or you may have learned that it was better to withdraw into your shell.  Now you’re all grown up it might be hard to know what to do to help yourself to feel better. Sometimes other people let you down. Sometimes the only person who has got your back is you. Nurture yourself like a mo’fo.  
I remember when my dog Lily had an operation.  I was heartbroken to see her so unlike herself.  She was in doggy ICU for a week and I asked if I could visit her.  I brought her the doggy equivalent of Lucozade and grapes (crumbed ham if you’re interested).  She was really weak but the smell piqued her interest (I like to think that seeing me helped too!).  At the time I had to pop the price of the operation on my credit card, but I would have done ANYTHING just to see her well again.  (BTW Lily is perfect again after lots of TLC & medical care).  Lily was lucky to have so many people to mind her.  The nurses even bought her tuna to tempt her to eat.  Sometimes we are much kinder to our friends and family than we are to ourselves.  We would move mountains to prevent or ease their pain.  We forget to do the same for ourselves.
 

One simple way to shift your mindset is to create a stress relief kit This is a collection of tools that can help you to bring yourself back to a state of relaxation by appealing to your five senses.   The key is to only include items that delight you or provide comfort or relief.