Emotional Comfort For Challenging Times

candles challenging times comfort food emotional comfort essential oils fall asleep faster soft and cozy weighted blanket Aug 06, 2020

 There's no question that this year has been especially challenging. 

For an Empath who has extra sensitivities, there are days where getting out of bed feels pointless. From the second you leave your house, you're barraged with other people's pain, their fear, and tuning into the worldwide collective energy is chaotic. People are fighting on social media, in the streets, and there's so much intolerance going on in the world. 

I get it. It's hard. 

As an Empath, you're used to being the helper, the healer, and the one everyone turns to when they need help. Although this is an honor in its highest form, it's also a huge responsibility that sometimes you need to shake off temporarily. 

You're so used to comforting others, but what do you do when you need comfort yourself?

One of the biggest challenges Empaths face is to take care of themselves without feeling selfish. Taking time for yourself to relax and heal is essential to your happiness, health, and overall wellbeing. 

There have been several days where I felt overwhelmed and just needed to tune the world out, take a break, and collect myself.  If you find yourself in need of some comfort right now, try some of the suggestions below to feel better. 

1) Wear something soft and cozy.

There are a lot of suggestions out there for feeling better in a mental/emotional way. Heck, I'm probably going to give you several myself! However, I'm a Taurus at heart and sometimes you need to feel physical comfort to turn your emotional outlook around. When you wear something soft, you're engaging your tactile sense and it signals the body to relax. You're surrounded by coziness, so the brain will move out of the sympathetic fight or flight mode and into relaxation mode. It can be your favorite slippers, cozy socks, a super soft t-shirt, or your favorite stretchy pants. 

2) Indulge in a little comfort food. 

Have you ever noticed that the majority of "comfort food" tends to be heavily carb based? Wheat (and gluten) hits the opioid receptors of your brain similar to heroin. It helps release dopamine which is your "feel good" hormone. This is also what makes comfort food such a slippery slope. Because it makes you feel good (a la dopamine), it also makes it hard to give up. If you have an issue with emotional eating, then I recommend you try some of the other suggestions or keep to occasional treats and proper portion sizes. 

3) Keep it tight and add a little weight. 

This sounds weird, I know. Stay with me here for a second. For some people, loose clothes are comfortable. However, for others, the sympathetic system calms down by surrounding themselves with constriction and weight. 

Have you ever heard of a thunder shirt for nervous dogs? It's a slightly weighted jacket that you cinch tightly around the dog to help calm their anxiety during thunderstorms. It's the same principle when you swaddle a baby. Wearing compression clothing may feel more comforting than something loose. Also, if you have trouble sleeping, they sell weighted blankets which are designed to help you feel better and fall asleep. It's like giant hug. 

4) Burn your favorite candles or diffuse essential oils.

Your sense of smell helps connect you to an area of your brain that is responsible for nostalgia and memory. By burning your favorite scents, you can be transported to happier times. For example, smelling vanilla and cinnamon might bring you back to making cookies with your grandmother or your favorite Christmas. Scents such as lavender, vanilla, cinnamon, citrus, ylang ylang, jasmine, and rose have been shown to relax you while fostering loving feelings. 

5) Keep it chilly.

I'm not a fan of too much heat. In fact the 60's-70's year-round would be my ideal temperature. For people like me, I struggle with the heat. It makes me uncomfortable and irritable. I can't imagine what hot flashes are going to feel like when I get to that "special time" in my life. 

Studies have shown that lowering the temperature at night before you go to bed will help you relax and fall asleep faster. Plus, it gives you an opportunity to pull out your coziest blanket and jammies for an extra bonus. 

6) Cuddle-up

Cuddles help release oxytocin which is your "love hormone". Cuddles from pets, children, or loved ones help you feel cherished and relaxed. Studies have also shown that petting animals helps lower your blood pressure promoting relaxation. 

7) Laugh or be inspired.

Do you have a favorite movie or book? Every year, I watch the movie Last Holiday starring Queen Latifah. For me, it's the perfect blend of comedy and inspiration. When she follows her dreams, amazing things start to happen. 

When you need a little emotional boost, fantasy and inspiration help take you out of your current reality into a realm filled with possibilities. Stress keeps you trapped in a cycle of worst-case scenarios, but dreaming, meditating, and creativity shift you into a different area of the brain where solutions are possible. 

There will always be challenges in our lives, but we don't have to let them constantly overwhelm us. Taking time for yourself is just as important as showering and brushing your teeth. Sometimes, little adjustments to your outlook and daily practices make all the difference between feeling comfortable and overwhelmed. If you'd like to schedule a free consultation to help you manage anxiety, overwhelm, and feeling burdened, then click HERE. 

April Darley N.D. is an Emotional Strength Coach specializing in helping Empaths/HSP's feel better, and function better by releasing stress, anxiety, pain, and sabotaging behavior. Through the combination of coaching and emotional release techniques, you'll learn how to step into your own power, comfortably deal with life's challenges, and stay calm and balanced.  


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