How to Self-Soothe
Week 3, Day 4
Sometimes in disagreements we can feel overwhelmed.
It can be best to take a break to calm down and take care of ourselves.
While we consider and support each other as a family, taking care of yourself is also a part of having healthy families as a whole.
When we feel flooded or continue in arguments when we feel tired, it can lead to explosive reactions or family members becoming withdrawn.
This is why research-based groups like The Gottman Institute recommend making self-soothing a part of your family's conflict management strategies.
Let your family know that you need to take a break from the discussion when you feel overwhelmed.
It's important to not use this break to continue thinking about your anger and unhappiness. Instead, use this time to calm your mind and relax your body.
Here are some ideas on how to use these methods:
Create a neutral signal to take a break from disagreements.
Come up with a word or a hand sign as a family. It could be a random word, "time out" motion or something else your family is comfortable with!
Agree to use it when you feel overwhelmed by your feelings during discussions.
Be conscious of your breathing
When we feel anxious or stressed, we tend to breathe shallowly or hyperventilate. We end up without enough oxygen in our lungs, and it makes our body and emotions feel much worse.
Focus on deep and regular breaths.
Also, learn to recognise anxious and sadness breathing patterns.
If you or someone in the group is breathing at these paces during a discussion, it is a good sign that it is time to take a break.
Where do you feel tense?
Where do you feel your emotions in your body? Where are you the most tense?
Use stretching exercises or the positions from Week 1 to tense and relax your body until the tension goes away:
Be kind to yourself
Imagine your favourite place where you feel calm and safe.
Practice positive self-talk. Avoid being critical or negative. Instead, tell yourself that everything will be okay and you can find a way to handle this.
Try some of these encouragements and see what works best for you!
Find your own Ways!
This could be snuggling with a favourite toy, reading or drawing, or something else!
Everyone has their own way to soothe and care for themselves, take some time to find your preferred way.
Share it with us in the box below and see what other people do as well!