Relationship Minute: Self-care and self-soothing

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.