One of my favorite Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) skills is Self-Soothing. I went from a time in my life when I believed I was totally undeserving of feeling “good” to becoming immersed in this skill, to finding a balance.
It is still my top go-to skill when I am feeling emotionally dysregulated and distressed and there is nothing that I can immediately (or ever) do to solve the particular issue that is troubling me. (For example, I cannot travel back in time and change the past, no matter how desperately I may wish for this or fantasize about it.)
Also, when we are feeling distressed and dysregulated, it can be very helpful to take some time out and focus on something positive. Will it solve the problem? Of course not — but it can help slow us down long enough to not make matters worse and to calm our frazzled nerves.
So, each night I go into my Shower Sanctuary. It’s nothing fancy, really. My bathroom is actually quite tiny. My tub is small, so I don’t often take baths (though baths can be soooo incredibly relaxing!), but I do fill my shower with “potions” that help me to feel better.
|Pure & Basic Scrub and Body Gel|
This is the scrub. Love the name. The scent is very subtle, and the feeling of the little exfoliating beads is just wonderful. My skin feels so soft and smooth afterward. I love this step. If you can’t find this brand, I tracked down this Coconut Body Scrub from the Body Shop.
Next is shampoo. It is also by Alba Bontanica. To go along with my tropical theme, this one is the Drink it Up Coconut Milk variety. Side note: it makes my hair so silky soft that I no longer need to use conditioner. As far as it being self-soothing, again, you get an all-natural coconut scent, and the shampoo has a very silky feel as you lather it up and work it into your hair. It’s a very gender-neutral scent. Who doesn’t want to smell like they’ve been out on the beach in Hawaii? This is another one that you can find at Target.
Next is my shaving cream. Yes, I’ve even found something soothing for this part of my shower experience. I use the Trader Joe’s Honey Mango Shave Cream. It doesn’t lather up but rather softens your skin and hair for easy shaving. It has a light, gender-neutral scent, and it’s made from all vegetarian ingredients. Resist eating it even though it smells yummy!
When it comes to my face wash, I’ve been addicted to Bare Minerals Purifying Facial Cleanser since I started using it a couple of years ago. It has a very earthly, soil-like scent to it. It’s something I find very soothing, and it makes my skin so soft and clear. It also gently takes off my eye makeup, which saves me an extra step when I get out of the shower.
Last but not least is a body milk lotion that my friend Crystal gave me a while back. It’s the John Master’s Organic Blood Orange and Vanilla Body Milk. It is absolutely divine. It is not shy with it’s very vivid scent of blood orange and vanilla, and it absorbs wonderfully into the skin, leaving me feeling refreshed, soft, and beautifully scented. I put this on after I step out of the shower, and it’s a great wrap-up to my self-soothe shower experience.
I am always on the look-out for new potions to add to me Shower Sanctuary. Please do comment with what you use or have used in the past that you recommend. I can’t wait to get some new ideas from you!
Do you use the shower as a self-soothe sanctuary? Might you try it this week?
Thanks for reading.