Self Soothing: a helpful guide


Stress. It’s all around us. Especially right now while all of us are going through a global pandemic, online school, quarantine, and modifications made to our environment that make us feel alienated from what we once knew. When stress comes along, anxiety is sure to follow. According to of young adults who felt stressed reported feeling depressed, and 61% reported feeling anxious” 

With that being said, here I introduce you to the very helpful tactic of “Self-Soothing”. Self-soothing is a way in which we treat ourselves for feelings of betterment so that we can move forward, past any negativity or pain. It’s pretty effective and helps with anxiety if I do say so myself. As a person with generalized anxiety disorder, also known as GAD, it has helped me a lot to get through anxiety/stress-filled days. 

The five categories of self-soothing

  • Sound
  • Taste
  • Smell
  • Touch
  • Sight

Any activity that involves a specific sense that helps you soothe yourself back on track here are some examples for each: 

  • Sound: listening to ASMR, listening to your favorite music with noise-canceling headphones on in a dark room, listening to different frequencies, closing your eyes and visualizing the sounds around you, and last but not least, using a sound machine. Anything that helps to get you to stop focusing on your stress and anxiety for at least 10-15 minutes and give you that quick reboot you need. 
  • Taste: tasting something sour or sweet, or tasting your favorite food, and keeping it in your mouth for 15 seconds.
  •  Sight: looking up at the clouds and seeing different shapes and drawing them out in a small notepad, staring at a candle flame for 10 minutes, and sketching out tiny plants or insects you find in your backyard. 
  • Smell: lighting your favorite scented candle, using and smelling essential oils, or going to your garden and smelling different kinds of flowers. 
  • Touch: touching something very cold, or very warm (DO NOT GIVE YOURSELF A BURN OR FROSTBITE), closing your eyes and touching various objects with different textures, make slime (weird, I know), or even petting a furry friend. (NO, I DO NOT MEAN TO TELL YOU TO TOUCH YOUR FRIEND’S ARM OR LEG HAIR.) 

Now that you have discovered the wondrous tactics of self-soothing, I hope this helps you, the reader, cope with the stressful and anxiety-filled times we are going through at this point in time. Happy Soothing!