Are you having trouble sleeping or waking up in the middle of the night? Do you just feel like you need a break? Are you exhausted? On edge? Irritable? Does every task feel like too much? Headaches or physical pain? It is time to develop a deeper level of self-compassion. How can you develop self-compassion when you feel this way?
Some of you may be feeling the effects of burn out. It happens to the best of us, especially under these trying times. Personally, this year has felt like a freight train has come and run me over. I started the year getting really sick, which the effects of that lasted for over a month. We then went into a shelter in place, had to cancel plans/trips, my business has been affected, my friends have been impacted, isolation from friends/family, some weird hornets, and the blatant evidence of racism in our country.
Phew… Even writing that out all made me tired. I wanted you to see it all written out so that you can truly grasp how much we are all dealing with right now. I acknowledge that you may be dealing with a lot more, to which I can only express that I send you loving energy.
So this is all a lot. What if you were already feeling burnt out before this all started? I was feeling somewhat burnt out so I get it, which is why I wanted to share some strategies and tips to help you.
Recognize the lack of Self-Compassion
To show yourself compassion, you must first recognize that you are not showing yourself enough compassion. If you were self-compassionate you would have taken a break or given yourself some slack. You must also acknowledge that you are experiencing a lot. If you are an HSP/Empath, you may feel like others don’t seem to be as deeply impacted and are dealing with similar circumstances; the truth is that we are feeling it all at a deeper level. Your nervous system is at a constant state of stress/anxiety because the events are continuous. There seems to be no end is in sight.
Take a moment to recognize how you are feeling, recognize that you are going through a lot and that it is OK if you are exhausted.
It is OK if you need more sleep than usual if you want to watch more TV or need more baths/walks. The tendency is for us to “leave our bodies”, stay in our heads, and numb when we are stressed/overwhelmed/anxious. We can numb through overwork, social media, television, food, alcohol, or many other avenues.
I am going to ask you to recognize all the behaviors you are engaging in and be kind to yourself, Judgement is not helpful.
Choose Elevated Rejuvenation (AKA Self-care)
If you don’t take a break, your brain will find a way to make you take a break. You may feel distracted, and mindlessly eat or scroll social media. Maybe you have been engaging in numbing activities unconsciously and are able to recognize them and want to change.
Elevated rejuvenation involves consciously choosing what truly feeds your soul. What works for you, may not work for others, but there are some common themes that are rejuvenating.
Before I go into the rejuvenation tips, if you are not feeling ready for that yet, if you are experiencing anxiety and need support with that, start with my blog post here on beating anxiety.
As human beings, our physical bodies are not meant to be inside all the time. Being outside in nature can rejuvenate you. What if you consciously chose to spend 15 minutes a day outside. You could just sit outside, you could take a stroll and enjoy the trees and flowers or even go on a run/long walk/
Hiking can also be an activity that helps you focus on the outdoors, your steps, and the trail. It is a wonderful way to connect with nature and regroup.
What is mindfulness anyway? It is being fully present in the moment. Most stress and anxiety comes from worrying about the future or thinking about the past. If you make the effort to be mindful, then you can ground yourself to what is actually happening in the moment.
A simple way to practice mindfulness is to be fully present in an activity that you already do, like washing the dishes, folding laundry, or even filing. Pick an activity and choose to focus solely on that activity, don’t think about what’s next or the past. When thoughts come, you can notice them and say “that’s nice, I will think about that later” and refocus.
Try this and sense how you feel before and after the activity.
There are so many journaling techniques so I will not be listing them all here. To develop self-compassion, I am going to recommend you try the following:
- Set aside time to write, maybe even outside
- Write out all your feelings, thoughts, worries, dump them all out onto the page. Do this without judgment, all the words to flow.
- Take a breath and release it all, surrender the solutions to Divin.e
- Now write down what you need, what do you really want to do today? Allow the ideas to flo.w
- Take a moment and schedule or actually do what your heart wants.
Developing self-compassion takes time.
When you are developing self-compassion, you must be patient, especially when you are burnt out. The highest level of self-compassion out is to take time out for yourself and consciously choose your rejuvenation.
Choose elevated self-care, journal, meditate, practice mindfulness, and/or spend some time in nature.
If you need support in developing self-compassion, please apply here for a 30-minute clarity session.