Are You Self-Soothing or Self-Caring?

Self-care is a deliberate action or behaviour to do something that we know is good for us.  Self-soothing is often more reactive and less deliberate.  Although self-soothing actions can be the same as self-care actions, self-soothing can become self-sabotaging and unhealthy.  Self-care tends to take a little more effort and is always good for us holistically whereas self-soothing can be short lived. 

Examples of Self-Soothing

          Taking time to be alone

          Having a glass of wine or a lot of wine/alcohol

          Asking and getting a hug from someone

          Eating chocolate

Examples of Self-care

          Cooking a healthy meal


          Taking time to relax

          Asking and getting a hug from someone

Can you spot the differences?  Self-soothing is reactive to feeling bad in someway and seeking to feel better where self-care is about us looking after ourselves well.  Self-soothing is short term and can be damaging in the long term such as comfort eating, drug use and alcohol.  Self-care is good for us in the longer term but also is often good for us in the short-term. Cooking a nice meal for ourselves or others gives us a sense of purpose and raises our esteem as we express to ourselves that we’re worth looking after well.  This is true of most self-care behaviours; it reinforces a sense of self-worth.  Self-soothing often does the opposite. 

What are your top 5 self-care strategies?  Mine would be –

          Meditating or relaxing

          Riding my mountain bike

          Talking to someone – most commonly my wife or a friend

          Cooking something nice

          Finding a way to laugh

I would love a comment to reply to whether it be positive, questioning, challenging or critical.  Feel free to troll too as they’re always amusing.



Write a comment