Coping with Emotional Distress of Parenthood
As adults we often forget the primal ability to self soothe. We often teach children how to calm themselves when upset or throwing a tantrum yet as we grow older we lose or forget the ability to do this for ourselves. As adults we learn to hold everything in to not appear distressed or “strange” to others. This can leave us with an empty, avoidant, rigid feeling. Learning to self soothe in small ways each day can be life transforming.
When attempting to practice self-soothing it is important to tune into the senses, this can be done literally or by using your thoughts and imagination. Self-soothing is way to take care of yourself where others may not have the time or ability to. Self-soothing increases self- esteem and helps us learn to love and value our lives in a more nurturing way.
Here are some examples to consider when tuning into the senses:
- Sight – imagine a beautiful view at the ocean, forest or desert. Visualize a sunset, paintings, colors beautiful images of nature or animals. Look up pictures of these images if unable to be outdoors.
- Sounds – Listen to music you love, play sounds of the rain, the breeze, birds, flute, drums, whatever sounds resonate with you.
- Smell – find and smell fragrances that you like, a bakery, fresh cut flowers, essential oils, perfume, cologne, a forest, etc.
- Taste – savor some of your favorite foods, drink a large, cold glass of water with lemon.
- Touch – take a hot shower or bath, walk where you feel the cool breeze, wrap yourself in a warm towel, massage your feet with oils, swim and feel the water on your skin.