Even if you’re generally a very “together” person, that doesn’t mean you’re not entitled to the occasional freak out, because LIFE. Maybe your hot water broke again right before work and you haven’t washed your hair for a few too many days. Maybe a friend had the bad sense to point out that really cute picture of your ex and his new lady on Instagram. Of course, it’s important to figure your major triggers so you can avoid any unnecessary emotional meltdowns, but sometimes things are out of your control. That’s why it’s just as important to figure out some ways to calm yourself down when life doesn’t go your way, because lord knows, there will be times when you need to curl into a ball with your hot water bottle and cry until you feel silly. Here are our approved self-soothing techniques that have helped us through panic attacks, meltdowns, and freak outs of all kinds.
1. Watch an all-consuming TV series that has multiple seasons. Getting sucked into the dazzling world of “RuPaul’s Drag Race” will help you forget about the stress of your actual world, so go ahead and WERK.
2. Whip out a pack of Goddess oracle cards and ask for answers. No matter what you’re dealing with, Athena’s got answers.
3. Read poetry (or anything that moves you). Sometimes a few words can do the trick.
4. Have some go-to thoughts that always calm you down. Like the image of that time you put a diaper on your dog or the thought of the look on your friend’s face when she described her new boyfriend’s giant ballsack.
5. Stalk people you knew from middle school online and find out how they turned out. There’s something very comforting about finding out the kid who used to eat his warts is now a construction project manager in Tucson.
6. Go on a walk. You knew this advice was coming, but that’s because walks solve everything. A few loops around the block is often all it takes to regain control of a spiraling bad mood.
7. Make a playlist that reminds you how small your problems are in the scheme of this big bad universe. For us, that means Judy Garland and Eve 6. Don’t judge.
8. Get into your bed with a hot water bottle and just cry yourself out. Cry until you feel stupid for crying so much. Then cry a little more.
9. Turn off your phone, iPad, and computer and pretend you’ve joined a commune. Trust us, the world will not end if you take an hour break from your email.
10. Read a hopeful astrology forecast. Better things are on the way; it’s written in the stars!
11. Take a long, hot shower. Including shampooing, shaving, exfoliating, aromatherapy bodywashing — the whole nine yards.
12. Say it out loud. Talking about whatever’s making you feel crazy can help you feel less crazy, even if you’re just talking to the mirror.
13. Wash the dishes or scrub some unmentionable part of your living space. You can’t control life, but you can control that crusty bit of schmutz stuck on your coffee mug.
14. Do a handstand to get the blood flowing to your head. If you can’t do a handstand, that’s fine. Just hang upside down off your couch.
15. Make a simple but labor-intensive dinner, like risotto. Constant stirring can be very therapeutic.
16. Ask yourself, “Will I even remember this situation in five years?” The honest answer is usually, “Hell, no!” And that little bit of perspective goes a looooong way.
17. Chocolate. Ideally a few squares of really high quality dark chocolate. Because those Cathy comics were not entirely wrong.
[Photo from Shutterstock]