Self-soothing

My blogger friend Rudri at Being Rudri does this wonderful regular post on the everyday delights that bring her joy. They can be big things, like a surprise visit from her family on her birthday, but more often they are the small things that I, anyway, tend to not think about. A birthday card in the mail. A favorite pen. An inspiring quote. Last week she asked, “What were your everyday delights in September?” And I realized I couldn’t even think of an answer. In fact, the month was a blur. What did give me joy? What had I noticed around me?

The simple question she posed and the simple task of trying to answer it led me to realize that I don’t comfort myself nearly enough. I get through each day, doing what I need to do, and if I do want to self-soothe I usually rely on bigger ticket items, like a massage or a haircut or a true vacation, all of which I seldom end up doing anyway.

But life can be hard regardless, so we’d might as well do what we can to make the journey a bit more palatable if not enjoyable.

After a bit of thinking, I did find these three things that brought a little more color into my everyday:

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New Laura Ashley flannel sheets. It’s so warm here, still, but these came during a brief cold spell earlier in the fall. They’re soft and they look and feel worn and they make me want to crawl into bed, which is a good thing because I tend to struggle with sleep issues.

 

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I received an advanced copy of David Nicholls’s Us, which has been long-listed for the Booker Prize. To be honest I had never heard of David Nicholls until now, but the premise of the book – a middle-aged man trying to save his marriage and his relationship with his teenage son – sounded right up my alley. I’m not that far in yet but so far I love it. It’s written from the husband’s point of view and he is a gentle, nerdy, self-deprecating man. His voice is unexpectedly sweet and wry and I look forward to picking this up every night. I’m hoping the story will play out well because I’m ready to declare it my favorite (?!) book of 2014. We’ll see.

 

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Two things in this shot: my favorite tea mug and my Tulsi tea.

First, the mug. This was given to me by one of my oldest and dearest friends from college (you know who you are :-)). She still sends cards and birthday/Christmas packages in an era when you barely ever see anything with handwriting or a stamp anymore. So this cup came in one of my packages, along with a box of assorted teas and a book mark. We live on opposite ends of the country and I haven’t seen her since her wedding nearly twenty years ago. But we’ve stayed connected through both e-mail and the mail we used to use when we first became friends.

The tulsi tea is something I’ve just recently discovered as an Indian herbal tea that is rich in antioxidants and that enhances the immunity system especially during cold and flu season. (Oh, I was not asked to promote this tea, by the way. This is just me being excited about my new discovery.) So I bought a couple of packages of the tulsi hoping to stay healthy this fall and winter. What I didn’t realize is that it is also good for relieving stress. I drank my first cup last night and the effects were instantaneous. My muscles relaxed to the point where I was able to drift off to sleep easily. I had been jittery from work stress and struggling on 5-6 hours of sleep a night for the last three weeks. I am so grateful for this tea.

Many thanks to Rudri, for allowing me to “steal” your blog idea!

What keeps you going or how do you self-soothe? What everyday things do you cherish?

 

 

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22 thoughts on “Self-soothing

    • You and me both, huh? 😉 The comfy pajamas and yoga pants/jacket sound great. I tend to be stingy when it comes to pajamas, but I have a couple of nice ones, and it really makes a difference!

  1. This is a great question! One of the best ways for me to unwind is to go for a walk. But, I think, here, you are talking about items of comfort. I can actually think of so many that it makes me want to write about it myself. I loved seeing the pictures of your favourite comfort items. Mine would be very similar to yours: books, my favourite tea, my favourite mug and drinking glass (which is green, and no one else dares to use it), I also have my own pens, I love my flannel sheets, my favourite blanket, and C.J. mentioned another big one- my comfy clothes.

    On another note, I am glad to hear you are liking ‘Us’ so far. I really liked ‘One Day’, and have been wondering about this one!

    • Please write a post about it, if you’d like! I like that you have so many things that make you feel good. You make a good point that I focused on items here. I was thinking that in a future post I might write about my more ‘psychological’ ways of self soothing, something that I have only really been able to implement recently.

      I’ll definitely look up ‘One Day’! I’m so glad to hear your endorsement. I’ll definitely write a review of ‘Us’ once I’m done 🙂

      • Oh, yes, good idea! You should write about the psychological ways of self soothing next time. This could turn into a whole series! What other ways are there? 🙂

  2. Great Questions! Thanks so much for sharing 🙂 I enjoy taking at least 30 minutes to myself in the morning and in the evening; drink my cup of coffee in the morning and read a few chapters in the evening. I love getting outside and one with nature and the great outdoors too; refreshing and reenergizing for my whole being. I cherish the time loving, adventuring and living life with my greatest someone – so lucky and oh so blessed 🙂 Happy Day!

    • All of it sounds great, Renee! I especially like that you take time out for yourself, at different parts of the day, alone and with your ‘greatest someone’! And gratitude, which you have, goes a long way too!

  3. I’m so glad you’re writing about things that help you self-soothe and everyday joys. I recently wrote about this, too, after realizing I don’t spend nearly enough time to pause and enjoy the everyday moments. I think the way to a better me is to take some time to care for myself, even if it’s just a tiny ten minutes a day. I enjoy tea like you do on almost a daily basis, and look for spots of color to make my day brighter (like a piece of clothing, an accessory, a mug like your’s). Activities like organizing also help me de-stress and self-soothe at the end of a long day. I look forward to reading about your thoughts on Us!

    • I need to catch up on your blog! I love your ideas here, especially the one of adding some color to your day and ORGANIZING. The main reason I haven’t paid any attention to having ‘comfort items’ is because my entire house is such a mess…I think I need to start at the core and work my way out. Clutter is so stressful but I live in it so regularly that I think I forget its psychological impact. I hope that you are indeed able to take even 10 minutes of each day for yourself 🙂

  4. Cecilia,

    This morning I saw your post appear on my FB feed and I smiled. I love that you wrote about your everyday joys and hope you continue to do so in the upcoming months. Since I started the series on my blog, I’ve enjoyed chronicling everyday delights that pop up in my world. I am more conscious of them because I’ve taken time to memorialize these treasures that I may ordinarily dismiss.

    Us sounds interesting. Your favorite book of the year? Then I must read it. xo

    • Thanks again for the idea, Rudri! I agree that writing and chronicling these items makes paying attention come more naturally. I imagine that psychologically and emotionally, this simple act must make an impact in the long run.

      I will let you know about ‘Us’ once I’m done with it! But so far I have been very pleasantly surprised at how delightful it is to read.

  5. Oooh, it sounds like US will be a book for me as well, judging by your short description of it! I think it’s important to self-soothe, or else life can really make you feel crazy. For me, putting on a big sweater and hopping under the covers for a good reading session always makes me feel good. It’s a pretty regular every day thing that I do and I find it helps wind me down after a long day! (Well, if the book doesn’t keep me up all night reading, that is 😉 )

  6. I love this idea, and may start. What has brought me joy this week. LOVE It. Also, books do. I have enjoyed your reviews, C, and every rec. from you has become one I’ve loved, also!!! “Us” sounds PERFECT. (If I do follow in R’s blog style, Will definitely credit her idea. ) I love it.

    • I think you are wise to regularly self-soothe, Jessica! So many of us, especially busy moms, neglect to do that.

      Would love to hear from you whenever you have time! I miss you!

  7. I took me a while to figure out my exact habits, but I tend to drink a mug of herbal tea with honey and cuddle with my favorite soft blanket. I also have some of those “beanbag” warmers you can put in the microwave, and I put them on my shoulders and neck.

    • Ah, that’s perfect for this season! I’m imagining that all of this takes place with a good book. There’s always a plus side to cold weather, rainy days, etc. (Sorry for responding so late!)

  8. Like you, September was a big blur for me too. In fact, October is looking that way as well. Even simple things like reading blogs (like yours!) have gotten away from me, so I do need to work on this self-soothing thing because I’m feeling so run-down at the end of the day. It seems that I’m constantly planning something, and it’s wearing me out. Some quiet time for myself with a book and some red wine, and a weekend where we’re free to just do hours of yard work (because we really need to!) would be perfect right about now.

  9. Pingback: A Selection of Great Blog Posts October 2014 | Consumed by Ink

  10. This whole year has been a big blur and October in particular as I have been under the weather. My joy has come from being curled up on the sofa watching Toy Story 3 with my twins. Thanks for reminding me to think of it 🙂

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