Sweet without the Sugar

Self-soothing. This term came up in a health & wellness course I’m taking. Self-soothing has to do with taking care of yourself, nurturing, and providing comfort to yourself. The question was: what do you do to calm yourself when you are upset?

My first thoughts: 1. eat, 2. spend money, and 3. overwork. When I was younger it included various substances and boys. Now I’m just down to doughnuts and internet shopping.

The next question was: what practices could you put in to place that would self-soothe AND improve your health and well-being? Now I’ve been in this personal development world for a couple of decades and I swear I’ve never heard that before. Or maybe it just didn’t go in when posed.

We’ve been so conditioned to self-soothe by doing something to cover up our feelings rather than just have them. Something with the jolt of thrill or sweetness. But that’s not actually self-soothing , that’s repressing. Squelching down feelings or upset rather than dealing with it or calming yourself.

So, per our assignment, I’m looking at how to create self-soothing and giving up my squelching. When I want to eat, spend, and overwork, what am I avoiding? Is there a feeling, a difficult conversation, a project I’m avoiding? What’s happening? Can I do something about what’s actually happening rather than cover it up?

And if I need to comfort myself, can I actually do something comforting and healthy? A warm blanket and a nap? A rest or break? Dance? Connect with someone? How do I add more sweetness that isn’t sugar? This is new and slightly awkward, but interesting. What can you do to nurture and comfort yourself when you need it? Give it a go and see how you feel actually taking care of yourself.