When you feel distressed, find a way to soothe yourself and relax as this will help your body to calm, feel better and you will then think clearer. It’s not always possible that others will be available when you need them so the more ways you can help yourself the better. Use activities that engage the 5 senses: vision, hearing, smell, taste and touch as these are positive links to the present moment and which bring our focus to more calming influences.
- VISION: Focus on using your sense of sight to see beauty and peaceful scenes Eg. Look at beautiful scenery, enjoy architecture, look at window displays, watch sunset, look at art books, watch the rain.
- HEARING: Find sounds that relax you, calm you or reassure you Eg. listen to classical music, sing to yourself, use relaxation tapes, whistle, read out loud, hum a tune, call a friend.
- SMELL: Fill your environment with beautiful smells or take yourself somewhere that you can experience smells that soothe you Eg. burn incense or scented candles, go to a bakery and take in the smells, put on perfume or cologne, smell flowers, use scented lotion on your body, smell strong cheese, smell fresh laundry
- TOUCH: Touch is very nurturing; it triggers endorphins in your body, giving you a sense of well-being and connection to others Eg. get a massage, hug someone or a tree, go for a swim, massage your hand, foot, arm or leg, rub your temples and forehead, walk barefoot through sand or grass, hold hands, take a hot shower, put on silk pyjamas or underwear, notice the wind blowing across your face
- TASTE: Avoid caffeine, sugar and alcohol as this will impair your judgement making you more vulnerable to negative emotional states. Pay attention to your needs and aim to soothe yourself Eg. Eat hot toast, slowly and mindfully drink a warm drink, drink herbal tea, make a salad, sample foods at the deli, eat peppermint candy really slowly