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the good word

Self-soothe @ home!

by Mays Awad

March 20, 2020


“I don’t need to use this time to produce, create or catch up”

*repeat*

“I don’t need to use this time to produce, create or catch up”

While the fear + uncertainty during this time is loud, love can be louder if we let it. Give yourself permission to use some extra at-home solo time to come back to yourself with no agenda or checklist. We’ve compiled three of our favourite self-soothing techniques that require no props, no studio and no instructor but yourself.

1. Use your breath 

Breath might just be the most powerful tool that all of us innately have to release fear and move into a state of calm. Whether you find yourself being taken over by anxiety or just want a second to tune in, your breath is your friend to restore you back to balance. A really simple technique to activate your parasympathetic nervous system is the Box Breath or Square Breath technique.

To practice:

• Take a comfortable seat

• Start by taking a full breath in through your nose and let it out through your mouth with a sigh

• Inhale through your nose for a count of four, feeling your belly, ribs + chest fill with breath

• Hold your inhale at the top for four counts while trying to keep your face + shoulders soft, then exhale out your nose for four counts, and hold at the bottom for four

Continue this for as long as you’d like, shortening the counts to three or even two if four is feeling like too much, then gradually work up to a longer hold. The key is to make the breath counts even.



2. Use your words 

Toxic positivity tends to spike during challenging situations like the one we’re in now, with an overload of posts encouraging you to focus on the positive and push your worries to the side. But ignoring the fear + stress doesn’t make it quieter, and the shame that follows can cause some serious damage. Instead, give yourself a chance to be honest about what you’re feeling, without judgment for not being “positive” enough.

To practice:

Place both hands on your heart and speak to yourself out loud (or in whispers, if it feels icky) with understanding + compassion, maybe borrowing these phrases:

“I understand that I am feeling stressed right now and that’s okay. I’m here”
“I’m remaining present throughout this difficult time and am listening closely to what I need”
“I totally support moving slower, extra sleep and taking more time for me” 

3. Use your touch 

Touch is a powerful sense and can be a super useful tool for extending compassion + love to yourself. Set aside a few minutes to let your hands explore different parts of your body (like your face, hands, neck + belly) to discover what feels soothing while experimenting with different types of pressure. 

Try a light touch while grazing your fingers across the skin of your face and through your hair and then increase the pressure to give yourself a massage. There is no wrong way to do this + whatever resonates with you and feels good is good.