Thursday, March 7, 2013

Self Soothing

I'm in bed.

I'm wearing track pants and a maternity shirt.  Next to me is a book, a ball of yarn, a plate... there's chocolate crumbs and half-eaten drumstick.
(what.  like you've never eaten cold leftovers and cake for breakfast...)

And it occurred to me in the middle of my boil-a-lobster bath this morning: I'm self-soothing.  I'm in self-soothing mode.  I'm surviving to sooth.
Because stress, that's why.

Last week, I had pretty much the same amount of stress on me and I was doing much better... although I will admit that when my husband disclosed the equivalent of a dump-truck load of confessions on me, I listened and then went straightway to the kitchen.
"I don't know what I'm feeling," my brain said, "But I'm pretty sure it's negative and now I need chocolate."

But last week I cleaned my house on Monday.  I scrubbed it and aired it and played beautiful music through it.  Monday night I bathed myself and my children.  I styled my hair so that when I woke up on Tuesday morning all I would have to do is remove a headband and curls would appear! 

Tuesday morning, I woke up to a clean house.  I rolled out of bed and ten minutes later was completely dressed and ready for the day.  I ate better, was more available, accomplished more...
the rest of the week followed suit.

This week?  I woke up in the wake of a busy feelings-family-friends-food-filled weekend, and as much fun as it was, it's left me feeling drained and stressed.
My house isn't airy or clean or playing beautiful music.
And I'm in full-blown sooth mode which, as I know but never seem to truly LEARN, compounds the stress.

I forgot about Silly Sock Day at school and my sweet poor Kindergartner came home and responded to my apologies with, "It's okay.  Invisible socks can be silly too..."
I didn't even HAVE socks for her to wear.

I forgot to email my missionary sister about her own nieces blessing.
I forgot a play date.  I relied on Netflix.  I left food out all night -expensive food out -and it spoiled.
I had to spend $30 (one student's payment for a month of piano lessons) on dinner for the next night because I had invited friends over and couldn't feed them spoiled food.

And I've been near-tears all week wondering, "What in the h-e-eck-eck is my beef? Why was I awesome last week and a fat failure this week?"
Hormones are partly at fault, I will admit.  And I DID have one big "ah-haaaaaaaa" moment Monday night when I realized the reason for my weekend jelly bean and chocolate chip cookie binge was NOT so much because I was a lard-driven animal and MORE because I was a natural, cycling woman.
Luckily for me, I have a few natural supplements I can take to ward of hormone-induced depression.

Self-soothing has a place in my life.  A passing, fleeting place.
I stay in it as long as it takes for me to realize I'm in it, and then I get out.
Prayer, scripture study, good music, a round of yoga, a mopped floor, a salad, a conversation about Power Rangers with my son, a few minutes of solitude with my peaceful baby... THESE are my self-care.

I could make an educational t-chart listing my self-cares and my self-soothes... but I think I've made a pretty good illustration.
And you know what?  Self-care is hard.
Self-soothing is easy.

But, as I remarked in an embarrassingly tear-filled testimony from the stand on Sunday, hard work brings miracles.

And you MUST permit me to insert a little Manliness whenever possible:

Self-soothing? You've officially been checked.
It's time to move on to self-care... it's not going to be easy.
But (say it with me):
It's going to be worth it.


  1. I personally believe reading a good book and soaking in a tub can ALSO be self-care. So you aren't all in "sooth mode." :) You rock! Good luck with your self care!

    1. YES! You are so right. A bath and a book at definitely the bridge between self-soothing and self-care. I definitely needed that bath -my body was beginning to stink ;)

  2. Do you think adrenaline kicks in right after disclosures, and then wears off, leaving you in a funk? Anyway, I hope you feel better soon and, "It's going to be worth it!"

    1. You might be onto something! I just figured it was the baby blessing coming up that kept me going and the exhaustion of a busy weekend kicking in afterward. Not that I look forward to disclosing, but now I kind of want another disclosing session so I can analyze it, haha.
      And I do feel much better today. Thank goodness.

  3. Come on over. We'll eat some chocolate together and then we'll go break some plates. Brand new ones... ;)

    (And you only get $30 for an entire month of lessons???? I pay $20 for one 30 min session. I think you are worth more than that!)

    And I agree with Michelle! Soothing can be Self Care....

    BTW- Did you read my post on my disclosure requirements? (Practical Applications) SO HELPFUL!

    1. Confession: I've never broken new plates on purpose before. Ever. Just thinking about it makes my palms tingle. I don't think I could!!!

      I live in a very small town, and I remember being taken out of piano lessons because my teacher charged too much. I vowed if I ever taught I would never charge so much that people couldn't come and learn how to play. So I don't make much, but I love teaching. It's one of my passions :)

      I didn't read your post! I'm going to go look for it now. Thanks :)

    2. PS: just kidding... I went and checked and I DID read that post. You're awesome!

  4. "Self-care is hard.
    Self-soothing is easy."

    Oooooh. I like that.