Self-care and self-soothing are both important skills to nurture.
Self-soothing is what you do to calm down and reset when you’re upset.
Self-soothing looks like:
- Taking a 20-minute break from a conflict conversation
- Breathing mindfully to reduce physiological overwhelm
- Noticing tension in your body and releasing it
Self-care is what you do preventatively, to keep from getting upset.
Self-care looks like:
- Taking regular time to recharge
- Spending time with people who lift you up and give you energy
- Doing activities that you enjoy and find restorative
If you don’t take care of yourself, you risk operating with a shorter fuse when conflict arises. The more self-care you do, the less you will need to employ self-soothing.
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The Relationship Minute from The Gottman Institute, dated 27 February 2020. You can sign up here to get it delivered to your inbox every Tuesday and Thursday morning.