Self-Soothe to Reduce Holiday Stress

Can you believe that it’s already the holiday season? With the kids home from school, travel plans, gift-giving, and meal preparation, your week off can quickly become a very stressful time of year.

Don’t let the holiday stress get you down. To avoid feeling overwhelmed, try using a skill called Self-Soothe. Self-soothe encourages you to relax and improve your mood through your five senses. You can comfort yourself, giving yourself the mental health break that you deserve this holiday season. 

There are many ways to self-soothe. You use vision, hearing, smell, taste, and touch to lower your distress and feel more relaxed.

If you want to use vision to self-soothe, try watching a classic holiday movie, drawing in a sketchbook, or looking through photos of friends and family. You could also go outside for a walk if you’re traveling to somewhere warm and observe nature. If it’s a white Christmas, you could even sit by the window and watch the snow fall!

 You may use your hearing to self-soothe. Maybe listen to your favorite music, sing a holiday song, or call up a friend or family member who you’ve been too busy to call recently. The goal is to be attentive to any sounds and focus on just those sounds. Tune out your worries and tune into the sounds around you. 

Another option is to use your sense of smell. Why not get in the holiday spirit and bake some delicious-smelling cookies? You can also light a scented candle, try aromatherapy, or make use of some nice smelling scented lotion.  

Taste can help you self-soothe as well. Consider drinking some tea or hot cocoa, eating a piece of holiday chocolate, or chewing on some of your favorite gum. It’s easy to use your sense of taste when there’s plenty of tasty food this time of year!

You can also use your sense of touch. Put on some of your favorite moisturizing lotion, take a bubble bath, or curl up in soft blanket. If you have pets, you can get cozy with your cat or dog as well.

It’s easy to self-soothe, whether you’re enjoying the holidays at home or away. The self-soothe skill can help you relax and nurture yourself during the holiday season or whenever you’re feeling stressed. Learning to self-soothe can help you take care of yourself year-round. Have a relaxing holiday! :)