I had a lovely young lady in her twenties comment on one of my recent posts, asking if there were any "modern" ways to distract and self-soothe (this was in response to my post suggesting making a cup of tea). While I believe that making and enjoying tea will never go out of style and is a good practice and enjoyment at any age, I understood her question.
We live in an age where, if you have internet access, so many resources are available to help create a healthy distraction or self-soothe us.
A healthy distraction, in DBT terms, is something we choose to engage our mind in entirely, in order to take a much needed break from something that is distressing us -- a problem for which there is nothing more we can do in the present moment. We give ourselves a deserved and needed respite from suffering over the issue.
Self-soothing is when we engage in an activity that soothes us through our senses. Cuddling up with a soft blanket, listening to soft music, and looking at pictures of beautiful art are all examples. If the activity calms you and your nervous system and you feel soothed, you are self-soothing.
One modern way I've found to both distract and self-soothe is to watch tutorial type videos on YouTube -- particularly makeup and baking/cooking videos. Even if I have absolutely no intention of following through on recreating the makeup look or food that is demonstrated in the video, it can be a great distraction to follow along as the person gives instructions, step by step, and I get to watch something be created from beginning to end. (I must confess, I am often inspired in some way by the videos I watch -- especially the makeup ones, and I end up creating something at some point that is related to what I saw. No harm there!)
Here are some examples of some videos you can watch to distract, organized by subject matters you may be interested in.
Check them out, and see if any of them help you distract or self-soothe. You may end up with a new tool in your self-care toolbox!
When I watch videos like this, I may check off the following skills on my DBT Diary Card:
- Effectiveness (doing what works)
- Improve the Moment
What do you think of using YouTube videos to distract and self-soothe? What other "modern" ways do you practice these skills?
Thanks for reading.