Ten Ways to Self Soothe After Stress

ocht wheest-1
Hahaha, rough translation from the Scots is: “Oh be quiet and get on with it.’
Which is what I won’t be doing.

I knew full well there would be an emotional hangover after the trip to Scotland.

After all that sunshine and rain, all the laughter and tears, my feelings are tender.

And getting back into the kids’ school routines was like being hit by a tornado… with extra added jetlag.

Plus, our Intn’l Man of Mystery is away, and we don’t expect him to be back until early June.

I knew I’d need a plan to keep my head together, so was throwing ideas into a draft post whilst we were away.

hot water bottle-1
Maybe I could get a hot water bottle and cuddle it. A poor substitute for a husband, but better than nothing. This is the one Mum gave to me at her house, my elder sister Mairi made the felt cover herself, so pretty.

Here’s my wee list of what I’m doing to self soothe when stress is expected.

1. Run, and eat salad.  There’s been little exercise taken so I will aim for 10,000 steps or 3km five times a week… and salad by the truckload.

2. Less blogging for the rest May.  Will make it a digital lite month. Less social media BUT more non-media social…..

3. More socialising in real life. I need to see two of my oldest pals, these are warm and loving friends who also have their families far, far away. Lots of tissues will be taken to each coffee and chatter session.

4. Call my sisters and mum, and email my brother. Keeping the contact up is important.

5. See the psych. In fact, I already have an appointment booked for mid-May. The car goes for a tune up, my emotions and brain deserve the same.

6. Look out at the garden.  Look at the bush, walk on the beach, swim in the sea. Being in nature is the most soothing thing I can think of doing when my brain hurts.

7. Keep knitting. Finish the green scarf and send it to brother, to wrap him warm with love.

8. Take a bath.  We have a bath here in the house and I never, ever use it. It’s quite short, but it’s deep. I used to love having what a friend of mine calls ‘a non-working bath’ and will have one this week. Candles will be lit.

9. Make a plan. It’s always good to have something to look forward to. There’s a night in the Blue Mountains coming up, but I’m giving a talk there which I’m quite nervous about so there’s adrenelin attached to that. Will try very hard to plan a one night in June escape with my beloved to our little loveshack on the beach at Jervis Bay. We haven’t had a night away together for a long, long time.

10.  Go slow, slow, slow… resist the seductive urge to rush around like a madwoman, avoiding feeling the painful feelings that will surely be around. They can’t be avoided. Feel them… and let go….

Primroses. My Dad was born on Primrose Day, April 19th 1938. He died on August 3rd 2009 and these are the primroses Mum planted on his grave. I went to visit on his birthday April 19th 2013.  The graveyard is so beautiful and so quiet, but I couldn’t feel his presence there at all this time, I think he’d gone sailing.

Do you plan ahead to self soothe when you know tough emotional times are coming?

Can you share what works for you?

Take it easy


Just a wee thought, I’m co-author of a beautiful book about PND, or perinatal anxiety and depression as it’s called now. It’s called ‘Beyond The Baby Blues’ and you can read more about it here.

I learned the hard way that we mothers (and the dads too) need to really look after ourselves, and we need to understand ourselves too.  If you think you might be experiencing anxiety and depression, do please take it seriously. It’s treatable, very treatable, and completely understandable too.

Read more about anxiety and depression around childbirth in our book here and do call the excellent helpline at PANDA if you need to chat, there’s a fantastic website there too.

Linking up with Jess for IBOT today, come on over and have a read around some great blogs.

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