I might be aging myself here, but did you have a pen pal as a kid? I did! I remember how excited I was when my letter arrived in the mail. It was a wonderful experience to hold a letter that came from another state or country that someone else took the time and thought to write a letter back to me. I loved sitting down, writing and sharing something from my heart, funny or serious. The exchange was so fun as I was able to share my authentic self to someone else in a meaningful way without judgment.
My first pen pal was assigned to me in the 5th grade. She was another 5th grader from Alabama. In the 6th grade, I was assigned my second pen pal from Germany. Both pen pals added so much to my learning because of their cultures as they were different from mines growing up in Illinois.
The simplicity of writing a letter to a pen pal afforded me the experience to be myself, dream and listen while understanding others just the same. That experience alone taught me that I can embrace myself although it can be hard due wanting to fit in or change based on so-called norms in our society and/or culture.
Meaningful connections with others have been lost due to our overuse of social media and texting. I love technology and its benefits, but nothing will ever replace the human connection needed within ourselves or from others.
Here are some ways to embrace yourself and connect with others now:
Growing up, you may have discovered ways to make yourself feel better when you had been hurt or felt bad. Some examples of self-soothing include playing with your dog, favorite doll or toy truck.
As an adult, it's easy to forget how to self-soothe in a healthy way when feeling uncomfortable, upset, anxious or irritated. A lot of times, unhealthy self-soothing techniques are the quickest and easiest way to feel better, however it doesn't last long. Some examples of unhealthy self-soothing include:
There are healthy ways you can self-soothe as an adult. Try any of these 10 self-soothing techniques to feel better about yourself or any situation.
Each day you can help yourself feel better by doing many good things that don't involve self-harm, overeating or excessive use of alcohol or illicit substances. Do something fun, creative, uplifting, interesting and exciting to self-soothe.