We are offering a weekly blog series with a collection of diverse and effective coping techniques and exercises that can help reduce stress, improve mental and emotional well-being, and perhaps make you even more effective in achieving your individual goals. Check back every Wednesday for the newest skill of the week. Try them all out and find what works best for you.
This week, Dr. Katie Godfrey, shares 6 simple soothing activities you can try:
1. Say something kind to yourself. Think about something kind or reassuring you would say to a child, and say that to yourself. “You are a kind person. Things are hard right now but you will get through this”.
2. Create a calming mantra. A mantra is something positive you can say to yourself when times are hard. “This feeling is temporary and will pass.” “I am strong and will persevere.”
3. Think of a peaceful place. This can be a place you have been or a place you have never visited. Think about this place and utilize all five of your senses. What do you see, hear, feel, smell, taste? This can be turned into a lovely meditation.
4. Memorize a soothing quotation or poem. Many people find The Serenity Prayer comforting. One of my favorite quotations right now is by Maya Angelou. “Each person deserves a day in which no problems are confronted, no solutions searched for.” Another one, which goes well with the peaceful place idea above, is by Herman Hesse: “Within you, there is a stillness and a sanctuary to which you can retreat at any time and be yourself”.
5. Think about how your pet thinks of you. My dogs get so happy and excited every time they see me and my bunny loves to be cuddled. I must be a pretty wonderful person to be deserving of such love, right?
6. Smell something relaxing. Smells have the power to take us to a completely different place. Many people are soothed by the scent of lavender. A kind friend gave me a lovely tube of rose scented lotion that immediately soothes me every time I use some on my hands. Another favorite scent of mine is vanilla. I feel so peaceful when I take a whiff of vanilla in the kitchen! It works well to help me de-stress after a long day.