Overwhelmed seems to be the theme these days, whether it is learning how to write a blog post, learning how to do our jobs in a completely different way, hearing about the pandemic, trying to work/teach/learn from home, being at home, the list could go on and on.
So, what do we do in times like this, when we feel overwhelmed, and we do not know where to start or what to do, what to say? For me, it is remembering to breathe, yes breathe. For me, stopping and taking in a long, deep breath allows me time. Time to stop and gather my thoughts and feelings and move forward. During moments of high stress, anxious thoughts and feelings, remember to stop and be kind to yourself by allowing time to silence that inner critic.
Life has slowed down a bit for all of us right now. With that time, allowing for breathing, a bit of self-compassion and grace can go a long way for ourselves and those around us. The concept of self-compassion has been written about and researched by Kristin Neff. Taking time to be a friend to ourselves, Neff writes, "when we are mindful of our struggles and respond to ourselves with compassion, kindness and support in times of difficulty, things begin to change.”
So when you find yourself being critical of yourself, stop and breathe. Grant yourself some grace and have some self-compassion: it is ok to be binge watching Tiger King, eating carbs, or struggling with technology. When we can have self-compassion and kindness for ourselves, we can then have compassion and understanding for those around us.