Updated: May 3
Let’s face it, there are a lot of things that can make a mama undone. Our stress responses can be easily triggered by a lot of things. While we cannot control what may trigger us or makes us anxious, we can support and care for ourselves through it all. Here are 5 ways to help you self-soothe when you feel undone.
1-Get Quiet and Breath
When was the last time you sat without noise or distraction? The world around us can be so noisy and chaotic that we cannot think straight or reset even with our best efforts. Getting quiet and taking in some deep breaths is a great way to get more settled in your body. Get settled into a comfortable position (you can be standing too if you want!) and start by taking in one deep breath in through your nose, holding it for a few seconds, and then breathing it out through your mouth. Doing this between 5-10 times can help you to calm your body and ground you when you are feeling flustered, upset, or anxious.
2-Check in With Your Needs
All too often we become undone because we have not gotten enough sleep, we are hungry, or because we have not asked for what we need from those around us. Are we really upset with the kids for being loud playing in the house or is that the last straw on top of other things we are holding in? Often times becoming undone is the result of an accumulation of things, so a good starting point when you feel yourself starting to get unsettled is to identify what you might need first so you can attend to that. Not taking care of your own needs can lead you to being thrown off more easily so after you take some deep breaths check in with yourself.
3- Take A Nap
Rest is essential and you may need more or less depending on the day. Similarly, to when toddlers throw tantrums and fight sleep, us mamas do the same! We are often ready to breakdown trying to do everything when we literally need to take a nap and then get back at it again. Taking a 30–45-minute nap can not only reset your mind and body but it can help you to be more productive and have a clearer head afterward. Close those curtains and snuggle up with your favorite blanket and get some rest. If there is not a place for you to fully sleep, use that time to sit quietly and breathe deeply with your eyes closed. Daydream or just be with yourself. Intentionally pausing is restorative too.
4-Challenge Your Negative Thoughts and Self-Talk
It can be easy to let our thoughts run wild however. We often replay arguments, worst case scenarios, and try to anticipate every move we must make going forward—all of which often only make us feel worse. It is time for us to commit to taking our power back! What about for every worst-case scenario you countered it with a best-case scenario too? If you really still have something you want to say after an argument can you be brave and vulnerable and just say it our write it out in a journal so you do not have to carry it around longer than you need to? Instead of being 10 steps ahead could you consider going only 5? How can you speak to yourself with love and kindness when you are triggered, stressed, or overwhelmed instead of beating yourself up for these normal emotional parts of life?
5- Find Your Comfort
If none of these are ringing a bell when it comes to helping you to calm down, it may be time for some exploration. What are some things that come to mind when you think about comfort? It could be reading a book, cooking or ordering your favorite meal or dessert, smelling your favorite candle, talking to someone supportive, or going for a walk. It is okay to experiment here until you find something that you can do at home or when you are out and about in the world. You should always be able to come back to yourself for comfort when you are feeling frustrated, angry, anxious, or any other feeling. What can you experiment with today? Having a few go-to comfort options can go a long way!