What to do when you are so triggered you are ready to bite your partner’s head of

Or 12 ideas for self care.

I wrote about how we fight , I wrote about how we can try and stop escalation - Red light/Yellow light, I wrote about how we can find a better way to approach (Soft start up ) or talk to each other (Dyads)

But what can we do when we are so triggered, we can’t even think straight anymore.

We call a “Red Light” and do … what?

Here are some ideas to get you started

  1. go for a walk. If possible, in nature, but a walk around the block will do. Focus on your breathing, or, if you walking in a familiar place, focus on something you might have not noticed before.

  2. exercise. Go for a run, do yoga/weight lifting/kickboxing. It can be vigorous, or gentle. You can pump iron, or do gentle cat/cow stretches.

  3. watch a good movie or read your favourite book that always puts you in a good mood.

  4. nurturing, comforting, healthy food. Maybe for you it’s hot oatmeal, a handful of almonds, or a fruit?

  5. write it down, get all your feelings and racing thoughts on paper - and tear up the pages, burn them if you can, or at least throw them out after. Do NOT share with your partner.

  6. take a nap (if you can fall asleep).

  7. some people are actually able to meditate even when triggered, and love the alone quiet time (I don’t know how they do it, so this is not my personal go to). Maybe listening to a guided meditation might help?

  8. take a hot shower or a bath, or a cold shower, if that’s your thing (again, that’s not mine, I’m all about hot).

  9. work on your hobby or an art project (also won’t work if you are so triggered you can’t focus or your hands are shaking, but could help you relax your mind and body). Your artistic self expression also can be gentle or you can channel the anger into your art piece.

  10. hands on your heart and your belly, focussing an a deep breathing, allowing the touch and the breath calm your nervous system.

  11. listen to your favourite songs/music, or play music or sing.

  12. and lastly, see if you can accept yourself, exactly as you are, in this moment. Even if just for a few seconds. Take a deep breath, and hold an intention of total acceptance. Nothing you need to do. Tell yourself that it’s ok. That you will figure it out. Remind yourself that you are safe, here and now. Repeat at least 3 times. See what happens.

I’d love to hear your ideas, let me know what you think. Let me know what you do to relax and calm down, let me know what you do to shift out of a fight or flight mode before you can reconnect again. Let's keep the list going.

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with love,