Coping strategies focused on improving your mood that you can do on your own are sometimes described as self-soothing or self-care coping strategies. Effective self-soothing coping strategies may be those that involve one or more of the five senses (touch, taste, smell, sight, and sound).
When stressed, our inner critic is usually loudest. What is needed is a kinder, compassionate and soothing self. Try soothing words of comfort to say to yourself, such as “I know this is a difficult time for you”, “You are not alone”, “I believe in you.”
Self-soothing techniques include: taking a warm shower or bubble bath, going out into the warm sunshine, lighting scented candles or oil, listening to calming music, playing with or petting your pet, wrapping yourself in a blanket, and drinking hot chocolate slowly.
Some grounding techniques include: touching various objects around you; stretching; walking slowly and noticing each footstep; noticing each inhale and exhale of your breathing; feeling the sensation of wiggling your toes inside your socks; eating fruit and describing the flavours to yourself.
To practice mentally grounding yourself, focus on some aspect of the physical world around you, rather than on your internal thoughts and feelings. Focus on the present rather than the past. Practice your grounding techniques so that they will come naturally when you are upset.
Grounding techniques are useful when we feel distressed, overwhelmed emotionally, triggered or mentally removed from the present moment. They help bring us back into the here and now in a safe way. The more present you are in your body, the calmer and safer you will feel.
Grounding techniques are a set of tools used to assist you to stay in the present moment during episodes of intense anxiety or other overwhelming emotions. Staying in the present moment allows people to feel safe and in-control by focusing on the physical world and how they experience it.
It’s important that you can trust the person you decide to speak with about a situation. This could be a friend, someone older, a family member, teacher, counsellor, doctor or nurse. If they don’t have the experience to provide the support you need, they could refer you to a specialist.