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How about some Self Compassion...?

Dec 19, 2021

This time of year is when we can feel there’s so much ‘to do’, and so many expectations of what’s supposed to happen or be done!

Which puts yet more pressure on us as parents and care givers.

Some of the challenges we could be experiencing include feeling the pressure to conform to others beliefs, meeting high expectations, and being cheerful and jolly around the holiday season!

But one of the most common things we that can impact on our mental health, is comparing our lives with others. Especially to the happy, glossy pic of another family on social media.

Comparing our internal world with someone else’s, never ends well; your only seeing a split second, a snapshot of a moment, and have no idea of the 'before' or the 'after' of that moment.

It can leave you with heightened feelings of not doing enough, and beliefs you are failing as parent. All leading to that pesky negative internal dialogue, and unwanted spiral downwards into something that doesn't feel good at all. 

So what can we do during this time to look after our wellbeing?

How about some Self Compassion...

Having compassion for yourself is no different to having compassion for others. Having compassion also means you offer understanding and kindness to others when they fail or make mistakes, rather than judging them harshly. 

 Self-compassion is about acting the same way towards yourself when you are having a tough time, make mistakes, or notice something you don’t like about yourself. Instead of just ignoring how you are feeling, you stop to tell yourself “this is really difficult right now, what can I do to comfort and care for myself in this moment. what would make me feel good?".

Which means on a practical level, ‘Picking our battles’.

I know from experience, the more stressed I am, the smallest of issues can get to me. So I need to be able to step away for just a moment, either physically or mentally.

Being able to let it go, can be really difficult I know. However, it's a better option than a meltdown. Especially around something you normally would shrug off and not let get too you.

One tip I use is rhythmic breathing to calm my senses down. You Breathe in to 4....hold to 4....breathe out to 4. It may not be a magic wand, but it can give a moment of calm.

Then there’s self compassion; a powerful way to give yourself the kindness you need and would give to a friend in a similar situation to yourself.

How do we do self compassion?

Initially, it's about being mindful and accepting that this situation isn’t how you would like it, and also being aware of your internal dialogue so it doesn't take over. Acknowledge the situation for what it is instead of letting the brain run wild and convince yourself this is the worst thing ever, life’s terrible, or this always happens to me.

Then consider that anyone in your situation right now would also be feeling like you are, and it’s part of being human. When we can appreciate that anyone in our situation would be feeling like we are; it can really take the pressure off ourselves and be the emotional blanket we are needing at that moment. You could try and imagine a friend is talking to you and saying these words, as it can be a big change in our mindset initially.

Then consider something you can do for yourself as an emotional hug. It’s useful to consider all of your senses so what cheers you up?

Could it be having a candle with a lovely scent, putting a fire on and watching the flames dance about, some positive self talk, doing a few stretches or yoga moves, or if you can escape, going for a walk in nature.

When we can do something for ourselves even for a few moments, it can create the space we need to get through that day.

And tomorrow is another day!

Sending positive vibes to you during this time 🧡