A piece of ooey-gooey pecan pie … and then another. A perfectly prepared dirty martini, or two. A fun evening at the casino without limits, or a budget blown at Nordstrom’s. I admit to using all of these to comfort myself when I felt sad, anxious, or mad; (not all at once, thank goodness!) I’ve indulged when feeling celebratory and joyful too.
It’s easy to numb ourselves with alcohol, drugs, food, etc., but these only mask the angst. Consoling yourself or celebrating in non-addictive ways is a little trickier and not widely advertised. It’s often easier to fall into that chocolate cake or to shop mindlessly online, so looking for other ways to comfort isn’t a slam dunk! It takes a little work, but you’re worth it, right? I think so.
Here are six easy suggestions for the next time you need some comfort that won’t make you feel worse afterwards:
Laugh Out Loud
~Laughing physically helps the tension in our bodies dissipate. Check out YouTube for a whole slew of videos that will make you roar. I always start with babies laughing with dogs; that does the trick every time.
~Do something funny, like leaving an amusing phone message for a friend or wear a silly t-shirt or hat that makes people laugh.
~Learn a joke and tell it to everyone you meet throughout your day.
Take a Shower or Soak in a Tub
~Let the warmth of the water relax your muscles while anxiety, depression, or problems float away.
~Break out the sweet-smelling bath salts, bombs, soaps, and oils to create accompanying aromatherapy for your bath or shower.
Stretch and Move Your Body
~Lie down on your bed and slowly stretch all your limbs to reach the four corners.
~Walk to every corner of your house, see something you haven’t noticed before.
Play with Your Pet
~Our pets don’t care if we mess up or make mistakes. They remind us of the unconditional love that exists in our world.
~Check out cute videos of pets on YouTube (see “babies laughing with dogs” above).
Share Your Feelings
~Let someone who cares about you know that you’re gloomy.
~Talk to the person who created your problem.
Go to the Library
~Books can be our best friends. Magazines, music, 3-D printers, and artwork also reside at the library. All this is free.
The best method for comforting depends on the situation. If your situation is dire or grievous, laughter might not work so well. You are the best judge of what will give you that soft place to fall, that comfort of knowing this too shall pass. Don’t let others tell you what you must do to feel better. Make comfort a habit. You don’t have to wait for life to get stressful to enjoy the benefits of comforting yourself.
What are your go-to comfort practices?