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Self Soothing. Tuesday July 29, 2014

Here is a useful tool to keep in your tool box. Like most new skills it needs regular practise and frequent use to stop it becoming forgotten and rusty.

Imagine talking directly to your soul; your innermost core. Ask what it really wants and needs. I guess your answers may be similar to mine some of the time. This afternoon I feel empty and isolated despite having a loving partner and family. My soul needs comfort, warmth, reassurance and a small space just to be still.

Self- soothing is about recognising and allowing your emotional needs to be important and acting on that to care for yourself.

I have an image of wrapping my soul in a blanket, of bathing it and nourishing it and respecting it. Sometimes it needs a dose of steely determination to complete a long walk or to ride out a panic attack. At other times it needs nudging out of self-pity with a wry dose of humour. When I am really overwhelmed with life I try to pour a feeling of peace into my soul. I keep reminding myself to do this; giving myself repeated doses. Sometimes it helps quite a lot.

Today I am acknowledging and acting on my emptiness and isolation. I have made a huge mug of hot milky coffee, wrapped myself in a fluffy blanket and am reading a good book; a warm easy happy novel.

Is this incredibly selfish or self-soothing? The answer is probably both. I know it helps when I am able to do it.

Maybe you too could ask your soul what it needs and then sooth it, feed it and bathe it too.

A Moodscope member.

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Anonymous Tue, Jul 29th 2014 @ 6:58am

I don't think it is selfish. I think it is incredibly hard to take care of yourself when feeling so alone and isolated. I am in the same place, and it would make my husband's life a lot easier if l would be kind to myself or let him be kind to me. Instead I am punishing us both by refusing to be helped. A bit of selfishness would be a gift to my husband.

Anonymous Tue, Jul 29th 2014 @ 8:39am

It's not selfish Debbie, it's self-nourishing and wise.

Anonymous Tue, Jul 29th 2014 @ 9:27am

All my life I have sucked my tongue (anyone else out there do this?). Apparently, when I was born my mother was whisked away to an isolation hospital with septicaemia for two weeks. Imagine, a new little human being in one of those rows of NHS cots being fed, changed and returned to her cot until the next feed and nappy change trying to say 'I want my mummy'. When I gave up yelling, I must have resorted to sucking my tongue...No, it is never selfish to self-soothe

Anonymous Tue, Jul 29th 2014 @ 9:47am

Yes today I'm, ( 'metaphorically - speaking' ) also going to suck my
tongue ' all day, Anon, as I'm coming down from a ' High ', and am tired.

Anonymous Tue, Jul 29th 2014 @ 11:57am

Beauty can come from self awareness. We were meant to be connected through a back and fforth motion in relationship. Becoming aware of whats inside does not diminish the other rather it advocates for equality and integrity. Standing still in each moment creates the ability to choose a relationship that is whole within and whole without.

Di Murphey Tue, Jul 29th 2014 @ 7:15pm

Debbie ~
I especially like and am comforted by your following description:
"Imagine talking directly to your soul; your innermost core. Ask what it really wants and needs. I guess your answers may be similar to mine some of the time. This afternoon I feel empty and isolated despite having a loving partner and family. My soul needs comfort, warmth, reassurance and a small space just to be still."

While it is puzzling to me as well how this can be when so much is going right, perhaps our need for personal space is a more important trigger than we realize. For myself, it is paramount for me to have personal space part of every day/hour (Anne Morrow Lindbergh). I, too, have a loving family and support system & beloved.

Sucking one's tongue is not a bad idea either. Thank you for sharing.
Warmest regards,
Di Murphey
Moodscope Member

Anonymous Wed, Jul 30th 2014 @ 9:56am

Hi Debbie,

Thank you for your post. My therapist often talks about self soothing, but it's never made much sense to me - until now.

I don't feel that your self soothing is at all selfish. In fact, it sounds wonderful. It is simply putting your self first, which ultimately benefits everyone around you too. How fortunate your partner and your family are that you are taking care of your mental health.

An analogy I often use when I'm worried about being selfish is the in flight safety video. They tell you that should the oxygen supply fail, masks will fall from the ceiling. Then they instruct you that you must put your own mask on before attempting to help others. We are better able to care for others when we take care of ourselves.

Warm wishes,


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