When was the last time you checked in with your SOMA? If you don't even know what it is, now would be a good time to find out what you might be missing...
Bedtime is a time to return to Yourself.
How we deal with our physical selves or our 'SOMA,'
during our daylife is profoundly different from our bedtime soma.
During the day we rush around and cope with non-stop stressors.
Often it is difficult to find time to eat or rest or go to the bathroom.
We look forward to bedtime for the most simple of reasons.
It is then that we can address our soma; our physical selves.
It is a time of day where we become aware of our physical selves in a different way.
As we wind down we give ourselves permission to feel our needs.
That is why bedtime can be so pleasurable and a time of self-soothing.
For many people this can take many different forms.
What makes for pleasure is individualized.
A patient recently talked about her forty-five minute bedtime ritual which was routinized and brought her a great deal of comfort.
In her ministrations of her soma which entailed an extensive facial care system of many steps, she felt reconnected to her body.
What is therapeutically relevant here is that this patient wanted something for herself that was not connected to others.
The simple gesture of putting hand cream on before bed can be a signal to us that we are experiencing ourselves in a different way.
There is a difference between men and women in this arena.
Men will reconnect to their soma by relaxing their bodies while watching TV with hands down their pants or reading on the iPad.
Women will perform rituals around body care; creams, tweezing, flossing, hair care, bathing.
As we approach bedtime we move closer to the unconscious life that we find when we are asleep and dreaming.
Like young children, the soma needs to find physical comfort, warmth and safety.
If you ignore coming back to your soma at bedtime you risk your ability able to be able to connect to how you feel during your waking life.