Sensory Self Care 101
Let’s all take a time out, before this bright new year gets crazy, to practice some sensory self care.
Sensory self care is the practice of engaging and stimulating your senses to alter your mood, outlook, energy, and so much more.
Pick a sense below to get started, or better yet, try them all!
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- Pick an object, any object around your home that has a texture you find appealing or interesting. (Examples: A silky shirt, a smooth spoon, a carved wooden frame, or a leather-bound book.)
- Hold the object and close your eyes.
- Reflect on everything you feel as you move your fingers around the object.
- Deepen your reflection with these helpful prompts from Toward Wellbeling:
- Is it heavy? Light?
- Run a finger around the perimeter, think about the shape. Is it soft? Firm? Jagged? Smooth?
- Squeeze it tight in your hand and feel the sensation against your fingers and your palm – is it pointy? Smooth?
- Is the object warm or cool to touch?
Aural wellness has been skyrocketing in popularity in recent years, and for good reason: a growing body of research suggests music-based therapeutic interventions produce tons of benefits. (They’re also fun and accessible for most people to enjoy.)
Ready to get your own music therapy on?
Download one of these popular sound therapy apps:
Follow these steps to do your own self-guided meditation:
- Pinpoint 5-10 keywords to describe your life and/or current emotional state.
- Select 5-10 songs or musical tracks that correspond with these keywords. (The “mood” features on Spotify, Apple Music, and other streaming services will be super helpful here.) Don’t stress too much about this step. If you can’t find mood matches, simply choose whatever you like.
- Listen to your selected music while writing or drawing any images, thoughts, questions, memories, or feelings that arise.
- Meditate more deeply on what you wrote or drew, considering what everything means for you in this moment. (There’s really no wrong way to do this. Lean into it, and you may just surprise yourself.)
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Fractal Images and Chill?
Get cozy and treat yourself to a visual feast of natural fractal images, which have been shown, in some studies, to help reduce stress symptoms.
Natural Fractal Photo Resources:
Your nose will thank us
- Lavender essential oil for anxiety
- Sweet orange or bergamot essential oil for energy and mood
- Rosemary essential oil for mental alertness
- Peppermint or ginger essential oil for nausea
- Find something in your house with a vivid scent. (The kitchen is a great place to look.)
- Hold the item to your nose and take three deep breaths.
- Meditate on the images you associate with the scent. These can be absolutely anything and everything you want.
- Repeat if desired.
Taste your way to feeling better with a 10-minute mindful eating meditation from Declutter The Mind: Watch here.
(Basically, you’ll eat while also tapping into all the big and small sensations, emotions, memories, and local and global connections that come along with the experience.)
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