How kind have you been to yourself lately?
If you’ve been throwing rocks at yourself (metaphorically speaking), you’re not alone. According to this article, the pandemic has unleashed the “inner critic” in many of us.
As the article explains, lockdown and the start of “unlockdown” has felt like a rollercoaster for some and we are starting to feel the impact of something called allostatic load – when the psychological and physiological impact of difficult experiences accumulates.
Last week I talked about how it can help to Identify Your Signs so you know when stress is taking its toll (and have included an article to help below).
You might also have found at times that emotions have tipped quickly between fear, anger, grief and now guilt. Guilt that we “should” be:
• doing more at home
• helping everyone in the community
• coping better
• not seeming to cope too well, in case it offends anyone. (Genuinely, this is what people are saying).
We worry that we’re not measuring up by other people’s standards and that’s when our inner critic really goes for it.
But the truth is, you’re doing the best you can. And you matter just as much as everyone else.
The theme for this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week by the Mental Health Foundation is now kindness (they changed it from sleep and will revisit that at a later date). The reason being is that there have been so many displays of kindness during the outbreak, and research supports that the kinder we are to ourselves and others, the better it is for our mental health.
So here’s something you could try.
This week, maybe set the intention to Honour Your Needs. As a display of self-kindness, grab a post it note or a piece of paper and write at the top: “Just for today, I give myself permission to…” then write whatever you feel you need today, this week or this month. It might be a promise to stop kicking yourself when you make a mistake, an intention to put a worry to one side for now, a decision to stop for a brew each day, or taking an afternoon nap if you can. And, to stop yourself feeling guilty for being kind to yourself, next time you do a shop, send a friend a “Thank You” card for any reason you like and notice how good that feels.
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Copyright Delphi Ellis 2020