- Fresh cut flowers in a vase
- Screen-saver of a beautiful image or landscape
- Wall calendars with nature pictures or art
- Stopping along your commute (or taking a scenic drive/ride) for a 5 minute gaze over something beautiful. If you need some ideas, check here. It shows you “hotspots” of where photos were taken (indicating potential for good spots!)
- Blowing bubbles is an old favorite. If you can play and laugh and wonder, you are self soothing.
- Take out your camera and make pictures of flowers and look for anything beautiful on the street where you live, during a break at work or school. Then you get to carry them around with you!
- Exercise – walk, yoga, run, swim
- Travel-sized play-dough
- Take off your shoes and walk in the dirt, or put your hands in dirt or sand. It’s good for you!
- Rub lotion or oil onto your hands and feet (with essential oils of lavender and orange!)
- Rub tiger balm or deep heating/cooling (menthol) ointment on tired or sore muscles
- Squeeze stress balls
- Put a few beads on key ring – wood or metal, different shapes and sizes and carry it in your pocket
- A weighted blanket
- Get bodywork (massage, acupuncture, craniosacral work), pedicure, manicure – or even just a color change
- Hot epsom salt bath
- Throw a tennis ball (or some other kind of ball) against a wall or bounce it on the ground over and over. Rhythm can be soothing.
- Do tapping:
- Do Polarity Exercises: it’s long, so you can skip through to see the various exercises he does.
- Juggle scarves
Taste and Texture
- Sweet, Sour, Bitter, Umami (savory) – this one can be a little challenging. “Comfort” foods can be tricky, but they can also be a good, short-term strategy when you’re upset.
- Essential oils – I like lavender and orange – calming and uplifting
- Cooking foods that you associate with good moments – for me, it’s the smell of cooking onions and garlic, or baked chicken. Reminds me of grandma.
- Tea – like chamomile or mint
- Fresh flowers – I love going next door where there’s night blooming Jasmine, a magnolia tree. Another favorite: are Stargazer Lilies
- MP3 playlist, or free music on your phone, like Pandora and Spotify. I get up and put salsa music on first thing before my mind starts cranking away. It gets my body moving, and that helps me. An interesting bit on music and the vagus nerve.
- Classical music, or nature sounds
- Listening to running or moving water
- Bells, chimes, crystal singing bowls: the sound from this video is amazing.
- Read – even though you may not be reading out loud to yourself
Thank you Health of Mind for the inspiration for this list.
Eva Rubin, MPH/LCSW
Hi! I'm Eva Rubin, LCSW. I study the psychology and the art of how to live well as an introvert and sensitive person so that I can learn and share it with you.
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Great ideas! Running sand or rice through my fingers is soothing to me, as well as looking at tranquil photographs. Also petting a dog or cat can be very calming!
I’m into oh so many of these. Epsom bath is standard procedure, it’s forced relaxation with a detox kicker. I like tea tree oil on my feet. Heating pad. Hug pillow. Lying on your back with foam roller under my neck/head, oh my. It’s not easy giving yourself a massage, but if you don’t, uhh, er, leave the house..
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