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Overview & Purpose
There are four groups of crisis survival strategies: Distraction, Self-Soothing, Improving the Moment, Pros and Cons. All of these are strategies that help us to get through difficult feelings and situations, to tolerate (deal with, get through, sit with, accept) the things that we can’t immediately change.
We already talked about distraction (see ACCEPTS), now we’ll talk about self-soothing strategies.
Self-soothing is just finding a pleasurable way to soothe negative emotions. A good way to do this is to think about your 5 senses – vision, hearing, touch, taste, and smell.
Use your 5 senses
- Look at nature and animals around you or virtually
- Make one space in a room/home pleasant to look at
- Watch virtual performance art (dance, opera, theatre etc.)
- View beautiful art virtually
- Set a pretty table for family dinner or a table setting just for you
- Watch a sunrise/sunset or the clouds go by from your backyard or nearby park (maintain social distance)
- Listen to soothing or energizing music
- Listen to nature sounds (lots on YouTube)
- Make a playlist
- Notice the sounds around you – your family, cars going by, people talking, etc.
- Sing, play music, or listen to a virtual concert
- Use you favorite soap, shampoo, cologne/perfume, or body sprays/lotions
- Boil cinnamon stick, make cookies, cinnamon rolls, bread, or popcorn
- Open a window and smell the fresh air
- Smell pretty flowers on a walk (maintain social distance)
- Burn a nice smelling candle, use an essential oil diffuser, or plug in an air freshener
- Eat some of you favorite food/s
- Make a soothing drink – hot tea, hot chocolate, fruit smoothie, milk tea
- Eat a food you remember from your childhood (maybe even help that person make it)
- Eat a peppermint or cinnamon candy, or chew gum
- Really taste the food you eat – eat more slowly and mindfully
- Take a hot bath or shower
- Pet your dog or cat
- Wrap up in a blanket (could also try a heating pad and/or a weighted blanket)
- Put clean sheets on your bed
- Sink into a comfortable chair or couch in your home
- Garden, bake/cook, fingerpaint, feel the grass on your bare feet or the sun on your skin