It’s been a over a year in some form of lockdown. It’s hard to believe that we survived the winter, entered spring and we are still in the midst of a pandemic! Most of us believed it would have been eradicated by now, and we’d be playing frisbee in the parks, hitting happy hours, traveling, visiting family, and more…
So many of us are feeling disappointment, depression, isolation, loneliness, hopelessness, and heaviness. Quite often when we are hurting, rather than soothe and tend to ourselves, we actually turn it in on ourselves and fall into either self-criticism or self-pity. We blame and judge ourselves for feeling the way we do. As we look out the window at the flowers blooming and hot summer days beckoning us outside, our self talk may include “What’s wrong with me? The weather is nice, why don’t I get out and take advantage of it?” “Get over yourself!” “You don’t have Covid, stop complaining!” But would we ever speak to a dear friend this way? H** no. So why would we speak like this to ourselves? This summer, the doctor recommends, a very healthy dose of self compassion.
Here are some simple practices to remember that you above all, you deserve your own compassion.
How would I talk to a friend?
When you notice yourself berating or talking down to yourself, beating yourself up for something you have done or are doing- hit the pause button. Imagine that a friend has come to you and shared their story of wrongdoing, mistakes, or awkward actions that you are hung up on. How would you speak to them? What words of comfort, kindness, soothing, and understanding would you offer them? And now, you guessed it, offer them to yourself. Over and over again.
When hard things happen, we can compassionately comfort ourselves, just as we would a beloved friend or family member. Place your hand on your heart or heart center, and feel your own heart beat. “The heart is in the mid-chest, the center for unconditional love. When you touch it, love will be activated and start to send blissful biochemicals called endorphins throughout your body.” Judith Orloff
Let yourself receive your comforting touch. Now slowly and gently stroke downward over your center all the way to your belly button, again and again. Offer yourself soothing tones or gentle words, such as “I’m here. It’s ok. I feel you. You’re going to be ok.” Slowly, let it in, receive your own kindness and regulating touch.
We are in this together
“One of the most important elements of self-compassion is the recognition of our shared humanity. Compassion is, by definition, relational. Compassion literally means “to suffer with,” which implies a basic mutuality in the experience of suffering. The emotion of compassion springs from the recognition that the human experience is imperfect, that we are all fallible. Why else would we say “it’s only human” to comfort someone who has made a mistake? When we’re in touch with our common humanity, we remember that feelings of inadequacy and disappointment are universal.” Kristin Neff
Often deep suffering brings deep isolation. Remembering that we are all on this wild ride called being a human, and that everyone has felt everything you are feeling at some point, can lessen the loneliness, and the load.
Though this summer is not the one any of us imagined, it is full of potential for developing lasting kindness and a relationship built on compassion, between you and you. For further reading on this topic, we recommend Kristin Neff’s work, located HERE
Feeling anxiety, stress, numbness or overwhelm are all normal at this time, you are definitely not alone! If you would like additional support, please reach out to us. We are here, and happy to stay connected with you. At the Strength in Motion wellness community, we believe in a mind-body-soul approach towards finding and sustaining balance. We feel honored to be on your path in some way and are here to support you in living to your greatest potential. Click here to find out more information about who we are and how we may be a support to you. We are offering telehealth during this time and free consultations as always. We are here to support you.
HERE is a Playlist to support your journey!