As children, we turned to adults for comfort.
Being soothed by a mother’s arms, our scrapes and cuts kissed better by our dad’s, our scraps with friends talked over with grandparents, our heartbreaks tenderly wrapped up by older siblings, our family scabbles talked through with caring aunts, uncles or wise grandparents.
As adults, we often become the caring grown-up to whom others turn to for support, but there are still times when we need soothing.
What can we do if we are alone or if those around us cannot sooth us the way we need?
How can we provide to ourselves the kind of comfort we looked for as children?
Think about how you might sooth a small, upset child and sooth yourself in this way.
Here are a few ways to self-sooth that I find effective:
Wrap your arms around yourself and squeeze, rub and pat your arms and shoulders.
Rock yourself gently with your arms wrapped around your belly.
Rub your belly gently.
Run your hands over the top of your head and then down your arms.
While doing these things, repeat soothing statements to yourself, in your head or out loud.
Here’s a few suggestions:
It’s okay. You’re okay.
I’ve got you.