If you’ve ever dealt with sudden waves of panic, stress, or anxiety, you know that finding ways to alleviate it off the cuff can be extremely difficult.
Whether dealing with a racing mind or physical symptoms of anxiousness, you understand that having ways to calm yourself can be a lifesaver.
This is why having a set of tools to help yourself deal with anxiety is crucial.
And having the ability to self-soothe is priceless.
Whether you’re a self-soothing newbie or an old pro, it’s never too late to create or refresh your arsenal.
We’ve provided 12 suggestions you can use to self-soothe in anxious times. Read on for more!
If you’re lucky enough to have someone in your life to give you a massage, you understand how amazing it can be to receive one. But another person isn’t necessarily required! Consider giving yourself a gentle massage. You can rub your own feet, alternate rubbing your own legs, arms, and torso, or rub your own neck. Just caressing the skin on your legs and arms can have a soothing effect.
Quick Tip: Alternatively, you can use a foam roller, acupuncture mat, or electric massage device to self-soothe tense or tired muscles.
Okay, so this one is a prerequisite for self-soothing when you’re anxious, but meditation absolutely works! Just stopping to meditate for as little as 5 minutes can go a long way when trying to self-soothe in anxious times and reduce stress. Apps like Headspace and Calm make it convenient for people at all levels to meditate whenever necessary.
Quick Tip: If you often struggle with meditation, know that you’re not alone, and it can take time to wrestle your thoughts into submission.
Please don’t underestimate the power of exercise regarding anxiety and stress reduction. Whether you choose a high-impact method like running or a calming practice like yoga is more your jam, exercise has proven benefits for alleviating anxiousness. The self-soothing forms of exercise allow you to tailor the type of movement you engage in to your current needs.
Quick Tip: Try exploring different workouts and durations to see what allows you to self-soothe the easiest.
When trying to self-soothe in anxious times, it can be beneficial to take it back to childhood and do simple yet fun things. Harness your inner child’s power, and try a coloring book. This practice is so widespread that countless adult coloring books are available for purchase.
Quick Tip: If you genuinely want to revisit your childhood, you can color in a children’s coloring book instead of an adult one. The goal is to enjoy the soothing effects of doing something that requires little thought but is still rewarding.
When feeling anxious, it’s easy to forget to breathe deeply. The practice of box-breathing is an excellent strategy to self-soothe in anxious times by focusing on your breath. This mindfulness tactic is free-99 and does wonders with helping you calm down when you’re experiencing anxiety.
Quick Tip: Whether you use an app to assist you with these processes or use an article to take part, the instructions are easy, and you can use this practice whenever needed.
If you’re a music fan, you know that listening to different tunes can totally change your mood. When trying to self-soothe in anxious times, harness the mood-changing magic of music to relieve stress. Tailor your choice of songs to how you want to feel or the emotions you want to flush out. Wanna feel happy? Consider listening to upbeat music like pop or hip-hop. Want to cry it out? Your playlist of sad songs or movie soundtracks may do the trick.
Quick Tip: Whatever you choose, the goal is to listen to songs that make you feel the way you want or express bottled-up emotions.
RELATED ARTICLE: 10 Super Simple Ways to Reduce Morning Anxiety
Did you know that weighted blankets are proven to reduce anxiety, promote feelings of calm, and soothe the nervous system? Taking the time to wrap up (or under) a weighted blanket can be a quick and simple way to benefit from feelings of touch and get warm and cozy.
Quick Tip: Want to make the benefits of a weighted blanket mobile? Consider trying a weighted robe! Convenient and functional, weighted robes allow you to enjoy the comfort of touch therapy without forcing you to sit or lie down.
One of the easiest ways to self-soothe in anxious times is to harness the power of nostalgia. Indulge in nostalgia by watching your favorite movies or TV shows. Whether you want to transport yourself back to childhood or to a time that made you laugh earlier this year, viewing content tailored to your needs.
Quick Tip: Make it easy to watch what you need on-demand by keeping a list of your favorite TV shows and movies. It also helps to categorize them by emotion, duration, or other criteria important to you.
Need a way to distract your brain from anxiety and do something fun? Consider doing a puzzle! Whether you choose one of the jigsaw varieties or the New York Times crossword, puzzles can be a fantastic way to make your brain focus on a task. Focusing on something outside yourself or your own concerns can be an excellent way to self-soothe in anxious times.
Quick Tip: Don’t have a puzzle handy? Consider completing one online! You can find online crossword, sodoku, word search, and even jigsaw puzzles for free. As an added bonus, online puzzles provide variety and allow you to tailor them to your skill level and interests.
Did you know that food can be an excellent way to self-soothe in anxious times? Let your taste buds lead you to feelings of bliss. Food can make you nostalgic, energized, cozy, and just about everything in-between. When you’re anxious, consider making a meal to help you feel the way you want to feel.
Quick Tip: Cooking not your thing? Grabbing your favorite takeout is an excellent shortcut for experiencing a delicious meal without
Escapism can be an excellent way to distract yourself from your anxious thoughts and spend time in another world. Books make it incredibly simple to accomplish the feeling of transporting to another place. If you want to self-soothe in anxious times, try reading a few chapters from your favorite book. Spending time with familiar characters and rehashing good plotlines can be a welcome distraction from stress.
Quick Tip: If you’re up for trying something new, consider choosing a book from your favorite genre. Getting lost in a new-to-you story can be exciting and immensely effective at relieving anxiety.
This suggestion may be a bit cliché, but it does work! A relaxing bath or shower is known to soothe tired muscles and nerves. Don’t underestimate the power of warm water and time to yourself! Make your shower or bath time extra luxurious by implementing techniques like double cleansing and scent layering. Feeling clean and smelling fresh is sure to calm your anxious nerves.
Quick Tip: Take your shower or bath to the next level by incorporating bath or shower bombs. The aromatherapy and aesthetic benefits will help you relax and self-soothe in anxious times.
Dealing with unexpected anxiety can be stressful and challenging to overcome. But luckily, being prepared to self-soothe in anxious times can be a mood-boosting secret weapon.
Having go-to tools and tasks to help you distract, calm, or boost yourself can be priceless.
Making a plan, tuning in to what you need, and being ready to deploy your self-soothing techniques are excellent ways to ensure that you can handle anxiety when you need to.
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