Persevere – Life during coronavirus – Be kind to yourself
C. BE KIND TO YOURSELF
Over the next few days, as we all settle into our new routines, it’s possible some of us will feel we aren’t doing a “good enough” job.
Perhaps you’ll struggle to balance work and family time, or you’ll find yourself watching your child (or partner!) have yet another tantrum. Perhaps you’ll struggle to find ways to entertain yourself or find your surroundings in a constant state of chaos.
This realisation is often accompanied by feelings of shame that can affect our mood and negatively influence our behaviour. For example, it might cause us to feel stressed or low, which can cause us to start neglecting ourselves, initiating arguments with our partner or family, or turn to destructive behaviours such as excessive drinking.
** At times like these it is even more important to stay connected with oneself. **
HOW TO BE ON YOUR SIDE
- Remember, we all sometimes experience these feelings of inadequacy and shame, even if people don’t always talk about it. This doesn’t just happen to you. It’s part of our shared human experience.
- So when you don’t feel “good enough”, when you feel you’re failing or that you’re suffering, don’t suppress your feelings – don’t ignore your pain, don’t numb it and don’t criticise or compare yourself either. Be kind to yourself. Be understanding. Use gentle words to refer to yourself, as if you are your best friend who loves you unconditionally.
- Finally, don’t exaggerate your feelings either. Try not to over-identify with any thoughts as this can draw you into negativity. Be fair. Take a more balanced approach when you acknowledge your failings and notice your successes too.
In his song “Anthem”, Leonard Cohen sings “there is a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in.” Let’s embrace the cracks in ourselves, and let’s embrace the light. Why not just let things be? Just let us be as we are.
We are not alone – we’re all in this together. Imperfect, but together. With this in mind, perhaps we will realise that waking up the next day and just showing up is enough.
C. BE KIND TO YOURSELF
NOTE: This guide will be updated as necessary, so please avoid quoting or summarising its content in case it changes; instead share a link to the page directly. If you are a colleague and wish to contribute to this guide, please get in touch. If you find this guide helpful, please send me your comments, questions or suggestions. I can update and add to this series of blogs accordingly.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Dr Patapia Tzotzoli founded My Psychology Clinic where she gained her reputation working as Clinical Psychologist with clients on one to one basis in London and worldwide via online therapy. She specialises in adult mental health and couples therapy. Studied at the universities of East London, Oxford and Cambridge and trained at the Institute of Psychiatry where she worked across world-renowned NHS Trusts.
Click here to book an online session or in person with Dr Patapia Tzotzoli at My Psychology Clinic.