For the last several weeks, we have discussed actions you can take to escape the overwhelm. Even if you are implementing all areas of the “Escape the Overwhelm Checklist”, sometimes you are going to experience times when you are once again overwhelmed. When this happens, it’s easy to move toward being self critical. Rather than being hard on yourself, I encourage you to practice the seventh action in escaping the overwhelm, show self compassion. Join me this week as I provide three ways to practice self compassion.
Listen to your own advice
I recently participated in a self-compassion workshop. The first exercise included a meditation focused on what you would say to a friend who was struggling. If your friend told you that she was feeling overwhelmed, what would you say? Would you say, “Oh yes, that is because you are a failure and always end up overwhelmed again. You can’t ever seem to get it right.” No! You would find ways to be supportive and encouraging. Give yourself grace and listen to the advice you would give your best friend, mother, father, sister, brother, son or daughter.
Take a break
Spend some doing something that is nurturing for you. This may include taking a short walk or turning on your favorite music for a “dance break.” You may want to pray or meditate on what you know is true. Consider calling a close friend or family member. Perhaps you take a nap or go to bed early. When you are overwhelmed and struggling with being hard on yourself, one of the best things to do is to pause, take a break and do something that takes care of you. If you are able to step away from the overwhelm and do something you enjoy, you can then see more clearly to address what may be creating the overwhelm.
Don’t let your past “failure” define who you are and who you will be. One aspect of self compassion is “protecting.” Be assertive. Implement your ideal week. Create boundaries with your time. Practice saying “yes” to what is most important to you and “no” to those things that do not currently fit with your priorities and commitments. Reflect on what worked and what didn’t work so well. As someone who struggles with perfectionism (and sees it SO clearly in her 4 year old daughter), I know the tendency is to just “give up” since we didn’t get it right the first (or second or third time). Although we will never be perfect, we can keep taking action to move away from being overwhelmed. Finding rhythm and escaping the overwhelm is not a one-time accomplishment. Choose one thing to do differently tomorrow – and do it!
So, what about you? What are you going to do to show self compassion?
Click here to watch the replay of my FREE Masterclass, Escape the Overwhelm.
In my latest free resource, Escape the Overwhelm Checklist, I additional guidance on how you can show self compassion. Download it here! .