How are you doing? Where are you in this strange world we are living in? Maybe you are one of those people who is maximizing your time by taking courses, organizing your home or being productive with your work. Maybe you are on the other end of the spectrum and it’s all you can do to get out of bed and get dressed. Chances are, you are probably somewhere in the middle. Especially if you are a mom trying to hold down a job, homeschool kids and take care of the house. Where ever you are at this moment, I want to remind you to show some self compassion.
I’m writing about self compassion today because it is a struggle I am having. Chances are, I’m not alone in this. When the stay at home orders first started, I was thankful that I had some extra time to put towards my coaching and this blog. I was excited to have extra time with my daughter. I always wanted to stay at home with her, so I was looking atthis as an opportunity. For the first couple of weeks, things were going great. I had lots of motivation and my daughter was loving having me at home.
As time passes, I have lost the motivation to write which leaves me discouraged. I’ve also noticed behavioral changes in my daughter. She’s angry that she can’t go back to school and she misses her friends. She always tells me that she’s scared, but when I ask her what is scaring her she tells me, “monsters.” I’m wondering if it’s really monsters she’s scared of or is it something else. Is she scared that we may get sick? Is she scared of something she can’t put into words? She’s only four, so much of this is beyond her comprehension, but she is piecing things together and trying to make sense of it all. I’m trying to help her stay motivated with her learning, but she can’t focus. Quite frankly, neither can I.
Is it time to get back to the drawing board? Probably. We need to take a new approach. I’ve started with toy and book rotation, more snuggle time and a lot more going with the flow. As a coach, it’s my job to help others stay motivated and working towards achieving their goals, but I am only human and I am definitely feeling overwhelmed, sad and frusterated.
What are your struggles?
- Is it a lack of motivation?
- Is it work/life balance?
- Are your kids having trouble adjusting to the changes?
- Are you unemployed and or in a career transition?
- Is it cabin fever?
Whatever your challenges are, let’s start by being kind and compassionate with ourselves. We are in extraordinary circumstances.
What is self compassion?
The definition of self compassion is is the extension of kindness, care, warmth, and understanding (instead of beratement and criticism) toward oneself when faced with shortcomings, inadequacies, or failures.
When I think of self compassion, I picture this situation. When your friend is going through a tough time, what do you tell them? If your friend tells you she let the kids eat junk food because she didn’t feel like cooking or that they sat in front of the tv for too long, what would you tell her? You would probably tell her to be kind to herself. You’d tell her to try again tomorrow and not to worry so much. You wouldn’t tell her that she’s a terrible mother for not feeding organic or putting the kids in front of the tv so that she can get a moment of peace. If we are kind and compassionate with our friends, why do we criticize ourselves for the same actions?
Tips for Self Compassion
1. Say kind things to yourself.
If those negative statements pop into your head when you lose motivation, snap at your children or forget to take care of yourself, try using a positive statement instead.
- I will use calm words with my children.
- I may be overwhelmed, but I am a good mother.
- I will start fresh tomorrow.
- I have achieved these goals and will achieve my goals in the future.
Whatever your negative self-talk is, think of positive statements to challenge these beliefs. Write them down if you have to.
2. Stop and practice gratitude.
Whether it is in your head, on paper or in your phone, stop and write a few things you are grateful for. It may bring you joy and help you feel centered again.
3. Practice self-care.
If you are able to take just a short break to something for your self, it can make all the difference. Here are some ideas.
- Taking a walk,
- Take a bubble bath,
- Have your favorite drink or comfort food,
- Read a book or maybe just one chapter.
4. Connect With Others
If you can’t seem to give your self any compassion, reach out to someone who will lift you up. Call a friend, a family member or others in your network. Sometimes, it helps to talk things out. You may come away with a new perspective or will feel better in knowing that someone else understands and has your back.
Where ever you are at this point, it is okay. If you are on fire with ambition, that’s awesome! If you are feeling down, be kind to yourself. If you and your kids are driving each other crazy, take a break if you can and find something you can enjoy. That’s what I’ve been doing this week. I’m taking care of myself so that when I come back, I will have more positive energy and a renewed sense of purpose. Most importantly, I am showing some self compassion and I hope these tips help you do the same.
How are you and your children coping with all of this? Tell me in the comments.