Be Your Own Best Friend…

joshua-sazon-ysiOlHXJM38-unsplash

Yesterday morning my car wouldn’t start. It was 7am and this set off a frustrating chain of events and phone-calls, only to discover my breakdown cover had also expired. I felt stressed and overwhelmed. I immediately started giving myself a hard time for perhaps leaving a light on in the car overnight, letting my breakdown cover expire and impacting on other people’s day. Then I thought about it for a moment. 

After contextualising the situation, I realised just how much was feeding in to my personal overwhelm in that moment. Please don’t misunderstand me.  This is not intended as a list of complaints. Many of these things are nice ‘problems’ to have and I am inordinately grateful for my life. However, in mentally summarising it all, I fully acknowledged that in recent weeks I had been…

Building a new business…

Learning how to live differently…

Working clinically within the context of covid-19…

Preparing to move house…

Anticipating going on holiday if restrictions lifted…

Coping with the two-year anniversary of my husband’s death, as well as what would have been his 40th birthday…

All of this while we were navigating a worldwide pandemic…

Then the car wouldn’t start…

It is a classic example of not being consciously aware of how much we are juggling on a day to day basis. As lockdown eases the pressure is rising gradually. As we get busier, we simply don’t notice our emotional state as we should, distracted by all the ‘doing’ of our lives. Finally, something happens which jolts us back into awareness. For me, it was the car. 

I realised that now is not a time for berating myself. Now is a time for compassion and understanding. For allowing myself the space to acknowledge what we have achieved during lockdown. To recognise both the success and the struggle. I’m sure many of you will have felt similarly in recent months. It certainly hasn’t been perfect, but what I am coming to recognise, is that it has been good enough.

Compassion Focussed Therapy (CFT) was developed by a psychologist named Paul Gilbert. Many years ago, I saw him speak for my NHS department and was struck by how applicable the theory and techniques he spoke of were. His enthusiasm was inspiring. CFT includes an eclectic mix of psychological theories, but the over-arching basis of it, is to encourage people to have compassion towards both themselves and others. 

For all of you, who recognise this pattern in your own life, please try to have some grace. Now is not a time for berating yourself. Strive to treat yourself like you would your best friend. A true friend will tell you the truth always, while still showing empathy for your struggle. If you can show yourself that same empathy and consideration, the negative messages you tell yourself inevitably start to change. 

It is in this compassionate space that you can then see overwhelm for what it is; a natural response to a usually trying situation. Once you see it for what it is, you can then address what you can to manage your feelings appropriately, identify where you can streamline all that you are ‘doing’ and allow more space for ‘being’. 

Re-connect with self, promise to be your own best friend and it will pay dividends to your well-being in the long run. 

Laura x

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn
Share on pinterest
Pinterest

Leave a Comment