Self-soothing & comforting suggestions

This is a place to discuss grounding techniques and self-care strategies.

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turtle
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Joined: Mon Apr 01, 2013 8:30 pm

Self-soothing & comforting suggestions

Post by turtle »

Hi. I'm new here. Very scared. But I need help coming up with ways to self-soothe and comfort hurting/wounded inside. I do not know how to do this. My abuser - mom - never ever even let me have a stuffed animal to hold. I now have my very own bear. But what are other ways of comforting self when dealing with flashbacks and wounded child emotions? My T gave me homework to come up with ideas. I'm open to suggestions. Thanks ~Turtle
silentlistener
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Re: Self-soothing & comforting suggestions

Post by silentlistener »

Hi Turtle,

First, it is nice to meet you. I am sorry you need to be here but am glad you found this place.
This is a trial and error process.
1. Try different varieties of music. Try lullabies.
2. Create a bedtime routine that includes a hot bath with buble bath or a soap that smells good. Since you mentioned you had a stuffed animal, cuddle with it.
3. Use a soft blanket.
4. Find a small object that you can carry with you to remind you of the present life.
5. Safe touch. Can friends or anyone with whom you feel safe give you safe touch? It is essential to human development and relieves tention and stress.
My next suggestion works for me, but may or may not be right for you. I like to meditate and I feel calmer.
It might also help to have a place to go that is just for you so that you can feel safe. In this space, add objects that make you feel calm and relaxed. Books, stuffed animals, candy, whatever you like will do fine.

I hope this helps.

Silentlistener
Beachlady
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Re: Self-soothing & comforting suggestions

Post by Beachlady »

Hi Turtle,

I am glad you found this place, though sorry you have had such painful experiences. I think what works depends a bit on the individual, but some things that work for me are:
*Music (I have to be careful, sometimes it helps and sometimes triggers) and some of the good CDs with spoken affirmations or guided meditations also are nice.
*I have a favorite quilt I wrap up in to feel safe, so a favorite quilt or blanket
*Having a soothing hot drink like tea or cocoa
*Bach remedies; they are homeopathic drops, really really good ones are Rock Rose, Star of Bethlehem, and Rescue Remedy, as they help overcome fear and shock. They are made with alcohol, but you only take a few drops at a time, and sipping a glass of water with a few dropperfulls in it is useful on bad days.
*Sometimes an easy, repetitive activity, like knitting or playing solitaire or a computer game or jigsaw puzzle helps me; I probably just dissociate, but it eases intense fear.
*Of course, calling a friend or good trusted support person.
* Going for a walk or doing yoga gently, especially child's pose and back extension in Hatha Yoga
*Drawing or coloring can be soothing and can let the hurt parts express themselves
* I have a favorite picture I look at and consciously remind myself where and when I am, and that I am OK, not being hurt.
*Rocking. If you have a rocking chair, or just in any chair, letting yourself gently rock, maybe while holding the bear or wrapped in a blanket; it is sort of a hard-wired comfort movement.

I hope some of these help, and that you find ways that work well for you. You and your little hurt ones all deserve care and comfort and safety.

Beachlady
Beachlady

"If a human can dare to be more than the condition into which she was born, then so can you”
Maya Angelou
"Think Higher and Feel Deeper; The opposite of love is indifference"
Elie Weisel
becomingbutterfly
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Re: Self-soothing & comforting suggestions

Post by becomingbutterfly »

Hey turtle, nice to meet you. :) I love your name btw.

Besides the suggestions made by others, you could try:

Count red things in the room and saying their names
Smell a scented candle
Drink a warm drink like cocoa or tea
Blow bubbles with a bubble wand
Play with a slinky :D
Feel different textures-soft, hard, etc.
Hold items like rocks, pinecones, shells, or mementoes
Get in pajamas and sit on cushy pillows
Breathe deeply and slowly-in through your nose and out through your mouth
Visualize a nice safe place with only good things
Squeeze and then relax all the muscles in your body from your eyebrows to your toes

Take care turtle. Sending you much loving care and support, and safe hugs if wanted. :)
"Isn't it bewildering…that everything is so beautiful, despite all the horrors that exist?" ~Sophie Scholl
turtle
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Re: Self-soothing & comforting suggestions

Post by turtle »

Wow! Lot's of great ideas.
Thank you, becomingbutterfly, Beachlady and silentlistener.
~turtle :)
Last edited by ajei on Fri Apr 05, 2013 11:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: changed trigger from MT to NT
brokenbutterfly
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Re: Self-soothing & comforting suggestions

Post by brokenbutterfly »

My T is also big on self-care and constantly reminds me that I need to do this. This is a new skill for me as I am always the one to comfort other people but never myself. I too had a hard time coming up with things to do. Once I tried to watch the birds in my backyard, I sat there under a tree and watched them at the bird feeder. Cardinals, blue jays, finches, doves and the occasional acrobatic squirrel. All was well until I discovered that my back yard also had a hawk. A very big hawk, let's just say that watching the birds wasn't as pleasant any longer :)

Last week I too was given the homework of self soothing. I went to my next session and asked, "Does listening to music with my headphones on and my feet up count?" He responded, "Were you doing homework at the time?" "Were you doing work at the time?" "Were you doing anything else at the time?" When I answered, "No", he was very pleased and said, "Yes, you finally did it!"

I think the suggestions offered here are awesome, and thanks for asking this question it was very helpful for me. -- bb
"You're so mean when you talk about yourself. You were wrong.
Change the voices in your head. Make them like you instead."
Perfect by Pink
turtle
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Re: Self-soothing & comforting suggestions

Post by turtle »

Moving this topic up to the top of the forum so Healing Heart's Sarah can read through it....

[turtle]
Something woke up in me that day and I realized I had to come out of my shell...and live to my full potential.
silentlistener
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Re: Self-soothing & comforting suggestions

Post by silentlistener »

Hi,

Some people like books and some may like soft things or just to be held. Some may like balms or lotions but some might not because that might be triggering.
Sometimes soothing others can help to soothe yourself. I have trouble carrying out soothing things too.

Sl
River
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Re: Self-soothing & comforting suggestions

Post by River »

WOW! What a great thread. Its nice to meet you Turtle. Sorry its under these circumstances. Thanks for starting this and everybody who gave ideas. I learnt ALOT!

River
Beachlady
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Re: Self-soothing & comforting suggestions

Post by Beachlady »

Just bumping this up for River and Spike and whoever else could use it....

Beachlady
Beachlady

"If a human can dare to be more than the condition into which she was born, then so can you”
Maya Angelou
"Think Higher and Feel Deeper; The opposite of love is indifference"
Elie Weisel
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