Happy Thanksgiving! Are you shocked that it is already this time of year again? I am – the past few months have quickly flown by. As many of you already know, I chose not to run my Thankfully Me Thanksgiving Challenge this year. It is always a lot of fun to connect and share the experience but this year I decided to honor myself and the work that I am doing by using my time for me and other developments!
Thanksgiving is the introduction to the “Holiday Season” and can be a time of STRESS + ANXIETY. Not only are we taking time off work and spending more time with our kids, we are also meeting with family that triggers us and shopping or preparing food. It is A LOT!
Yes, we are supposed to be grateful and count our blessing on this week – however that can be tough if we don’t acknowledge the other emotions we are experiencing. Which is why I am sharing a list of self-soothing techniques that you can use during periods of stress and excitement.
Children have many tools they use to self-soothe. For instance, my daughter uses a pacifier and sometimes carries around her blankey. She also hears and remember my loving nudges and reassurance. We can see this as regular baby stuff but if we take a deeper look, these are simple methods that provide her with security.
As adults, the same is true. We still need to self-soothe (in a healthy way) and relax ourselves so we can return to feeling safe. Remember stress is simply our body ramping up to protect ourselves. Being an adult, you are always responsible for yourself and that includes taking the time to calm yourself down.
Here are some easy ways to start:
PEP- TALK: Turn up the volume on your own inner voice of kindness. You know that voice that you share with others when they are going through tough times. SURPRISE – that voice is for you too. Begin speaking to yourself when you get overwhelmed. Use loving and compassionate language towards yourself.
I have private pep-talks all the time and especially before big family events and busy periods. They go like this, “Orly, you are so sweet and loving. Everything is ok and is going well. You are enough and perfect just as you are. You are safe and you got this.”
HEALTHY OUTLET: What makes you feel relaxed and safe? I doubt that running around from Trader Joes to Costco this week will soothe you. Whether it is a call with a friend, reading a book, exercising or taking a warm bath – DO IT. Even if it doesn’t seem like you have the time or desire too. This is about taking care of yourself before you surround yourself with other big, important things.
BREATHE: I know you guys are bored of this one but it really is the quickest and easiest way to self-soothe. You can do it in the bathroom, in your car, in bed ANYWHERE. One of my favorite techniques is counting my breath on the inhale and exhale. This give you some structure – even doing it as little as 3 times is enough to impact your nervous system.
Here’s how to do it: Exhale from your mouth, making a whoosh sound. Close your mouth and inhale quietly through your nose to a mental count of four. Then hold your breath for a count of seven. Exhale completely through your mouth, making a whoosh sound to a count of eight. Repeat 3 times.
It is my deepest hope that these easy tools become stables of positive support in your life. I have been using them daily and they have impacted my stress level in amazing ways.
I am wishing you a peaceful and love filled holiday! Now that you are feeling more relaxed remember to give thanks for all the things that you do have and all the ways life is going good – you will find you are more blessed than you realized.