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Self Care/Self Soothing Techniques

Discussion in 'General' started by Pixie, Dec 16, 2009.

  1. Pixie

    Pixie Well-Known Member

    I have been thinking a lot about posting this thread the past few days. Just had to get my head together enough to do it.

    I think with such a stressful time of year upon us, this is the time that we sufferers really need to take some extra time and put in a little extra effort to do those things that help us to feel more grounded. Self care is one of those things that gets shoved to the back when we feel so terrible that it is hard to even drag ourselves out of bed... things such as making sure that we eat (even if it is something little), having a shower etc... but there are other little things that I've discovered that really help me along my way...

    This thread is basically so that people can share their ideas and techniques and encourage each other to do these things that sometimes we find so difficult.

    Okay... so I'll start:

    Self care:
    - try something little to begin with, such as using a nice moisturizer on your hands and face after you wash them. I've been trying to do this for the past few weeks and not only does it help me to feel as if I am WORTH looking after, it has also dramatically improved my skin tone etc...

    - for the ladies... I've never been one to really take care of my nails, but lately I bought a little thing which removes ridges and smooths my nails (cost less than $6 from the chemist). It was actually quite soothing to do and has helped me when I'm feeling triggered as it requires some concentration but not much "mind power".

    Self soothing:
    - curling up with a blanket wrapped around me and a teddy bear. Great for when I'm feeling little and afraid.

    - making myself comfy in my bean bag and watching a favorite movie (that way you can zone out and don't have to concentrate)

    Would love to hear more suggestions as this is basically all I have! :doh:

    shiraz, Nicky31 and lyrical like this.
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  3. Waga

    Waga Member

    I also think that looking after yourself strategy works. I've been doing it for past few days and it works shockingly good for me. I feel more together and even kind of ... happy? Yesterday and today this feeling lasted for few hours straight.

    My looking after myslef strategy includes:
    - running on a treadmill and a little bit of other exercises
    - healthier diet
    - a lot of sleep (I don't work now so it comes easier)
    - pampering - this is something very new to me, for past few years my body care set consisted of a soap, a $4 shampoo and a $3 facial cream. I expanded my range recently and I also think that it works, it makes me to look in the mirror more and more often and accept myself better.

    I would like to warn you to not guilt yourself too much over not looking after yourself, because it may lead you to the mistake that I made. Yesterday I went to the shopping centre, that didn't look so scary too me as usually, so I was even open to some contacts with people. The predator attacked me and exploited my vulnerability. She guilted me into not looking after myself offering perfect solution to my problems, demonstrated tones of cosmetics on me that felt really good. I am not going to tell you how much I spent, but I don't think that I spent this much for past 10 years.
    Girls, don’t let the guilt to get into you and be sensible!
    Llith and Fayne Jane like this.
  4. This Ends Now

    This Ends Now Well-Known Member Premium Member

    Super Thread!

    Great idea for a thread! I would like to add a few things that I have been trying since I am in a relatively good mood today.

    1. Curling under blankets and running the hairdryer on "low" on my hands and feet. I make like a little tent of warm with this and the sound of the hairdryer relaxes me.

    2. Learning how to make stuff. Nothing difficult but there are lots of cheap easy recipes for bread and cookies and simple stuff. It makes me feel less dependent and like I am useful.

    3. Simple art projects. My favorite is cutting out snowflakes. I can also make little seam bound books with typing paper as a filling and construction paper as an outside. Oragami is also good and instructions can be found online.

    4. Sewing and recycling old fabric. I never get rid of old clothes so I have tons of stuff I cannot wear anymore in my closet. Just a hand sewing needle, spool of thread, old shirt and scizzors and I can make a draw string purse, new apron, mini skirt, etc.

    5. Mixing liquid bath soaps. I love nice exotic soaps but they are too expensive. Fortunately it is easy to mix a nice hand soap or bubble bath. A big thing of generic clear unscented shampoo or antibacterial hand soap refill makes a good base. Save clear bottles from old soap pumps and wash them out once they are empty for containers. At the craft store you can get soap friendly colors and fragrance oils to add in. Just mix, pour, shake, and done.

    Best wishes to everybody! I hope you all have some nice times during the winter months. :Hug_emoticon:
    Fayne Jane and Nicky31 like this.
  5. Dylan

    Dylan Well-Known Member

    One of the single most comforting/reassuring things I do is an hourly check in -- I lose myself much less that way. At each check in, I try to take a deep breath, recognize what I'm feeling, access that loving observer and tell myself the words I most need to hear, right at the moment. This practice helps immensely with combating overwhelm, panic, and the sense that "nothing's ok, never has been ok, never will be ok...and there's nothing I can do about it!" :rolleyes:

    Fayne Jane, Heidi J and Hope69 like this.
  6. SunnyBrookFarm

    SunnyBrookFarm I'm a VIP

    1. Curling up in a blanket in front of the fire, with all the lights off, and stupid TV on.
    2. If I am out in public, I will find a quiet place to go and do deep breathing exercises (dressing rooms are great for this - or a bookstore is wonderful you can find a quiet corner easily).
    3. Comfort foods (when all else fails I can normally eat scrambled eggs and waffles or homemade mac and cheese).
    4. Finding a quiet place in the house and listening to classical music as loud as you would dance music.
    5. (No skin cancer speeches please - I know the risks....) in the winter, I will pop into a tanning bed place for a quick "dose" of UV lights - it's quiet and warm.

    Great idea for a thread - I'll be checking back to see more suggestions.
    Fayne Jane and Hope69 like this.
  7. lyrical

    lyrical Active Member

    Great idea for a thread, there are some things on here that I will definately try.

    I find playing music (different music depending on my mood) via headphones helps. If I can stop myself before I really start panicking then making music (if you play an instrument) really helps to sooth as you can start it off as edgy as you feel then gradually work onto relaxing soothing pieces, or even happy pieces.

    The other thing I do is going for a walk to get away from everybody. Just me and my dog and a tennis ball.

    Lyrical x
    Fayne Jane likes this.
  8. cat

    cat Well-Known Member

    It'a always good to share ideas, here are mine.

    Wrapping myself in a fleece blanket on the sofa with my cat
    A Down duvet & pillows, combined with an electric blanket, it's heaven!
    Walking in the woods
    Sitting by the river, listening to water going over the weir
    Sitting in my hot tub regardless of the weather, its like being hugged without having contact

    Fayne Jane likes this.
  9. She Cat

    She Cat Policy Enforcement Banned Premium Member Sponsor $100+

    My all time favorite....A hot bubble bath, with a cup of tea, some candles burning and the lights off. I also use Epsom salt in the water for muscle aches and pains.....
    Fayne Jane and Lionheart777 like this.
  10. Nicky31

    Nicky31 Active Member

    Yey Pixie I love this thread, some great ideas are coming up from everyone. Having been in bed for the past 3 days you'd think it was all about self soothing lol. Here are my ideas though.

    self care
    I have just invested in some expensive but good quality stuff for looking after my skin. Face wash, exfoliator and cream. I get nasty lumps along my jaw line when I'm stressed] and currently have a scaly dry patch on my eyelid. They have calmed, soothed healed and I look and feel better for it.

    I bought these from a place I go for the occasional pamper- for facials, brows, massage. It just helps me look after me.

    I love to walk and try to walk at least an hour each day. I take my dog round the local cemetary where it's clean, safe, peaceful. My favourite walks are in woodlands, but I'm happy anywhere outdoors.

    I have nice goodies for the bath from a place called Lush it's all animal friendly and they are soothing to aid sleep, calm, relax and treat.

    ]self soothing
    I too like to wrap up on the sofa and I watch Disney classics and anything that is non threatening, quite childlike and escapist.

    I love my 1920's radio station I found o line through my iPhone. It's based in Chesapeake Virginia and plays 1920's and 30's jazz. It's so gentle and soothing. Also the station birdsong that plays wild birdsong 24 hours a day.

    I like to pull my hair, tug at the roots, not to pull it out but it feels nice. I do that when I'm tired too. Mark even did it to me yesterday:smile:

    I like to eat nice things. Trifle is always a winner with me, I'm not a massive chocolate fan. Sunny! I'm with you on the scrambled eggs :thumbs-up
    Fayne Jane and Hope69 like this.
  11. Waga

    Waga Member


    You've scared me a little bit with your replies to this thread. I see that all of you do a lot of fun things that you enjoy. I kind of forgot what fun means because I was in a pretty dark place for quite long.

    Why is it scary to me? Because I thought that once I find my way to enjoy little things in life and start to appreciate them again I will be healty. You all "entertain" yourself quite regularly, and you are still here.

    Probably I simplified things too much. :think:
  12. Nicky31

    Nicky31 Active Member

    Hi Waga

    I see what you are saying. If I was healthy and well I'd probably be doing these things more often and then some. As things stand for me I have to really think and prepare for these things and I don't do them as often as I should. I'm getting more of a balance between good and bad days and these things help, but I know I'm still some way off being more good than bad- if that makes sense.

    Tap into one thing Waga that soothes you and write it on your calendar if you have to. Just because you have PTSD you can still do something good for you.::Hug_emoticon:
    Pixie and Waga like this.
  13. anni

    anni Bucephalus ( an old war horse ) Premium Member

    I think I see what Pixie means? It's hard to get it together to 'plan' to do anything at all, much less go out of your way to treat yourself? I'm a little foggy today and am not comprehending things well at ALL, which is why I'm tooling around the forum for awhile. Trying to click IN for the day!

    All the self-soothing lists are simple, though, and made me smile and relax just reading them. Baths, movies, TEDDIES, sofas.... thank you! I'm seriously all kinds of happy just reading this thread!!! It will be a good time to log off and go plunge into the day. Mine is going down to the creek with the dog and watching the water.

    BTW-TRIFLE! You Brits are killing me! I'd forgotten all about trifle! I lived over there for 5 years and I think that the invention of trifle is the real reason you guys ran the Emprire for so long in the first place. We don't have your custard over here, but am now going to go Google some acceptable replacement because I want some trifle NOW!!

    Yum, :)

    lyrical likes this.
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