What helps?

This topic contains 9 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  mariposa 6 months ago.

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  • #1656

    misstree
    Participant

    Hi everyone

    I was just wondering, during periods of loneliness or frustration or even despair … what helps you? What eases the discomfort?

    Thank you in advance for your insights :)

    #1657

    Angel88
    Participant

    Lately… For me it’s doing what my body feels it needs. Sometimes, it feels like resting, sleeping to no end. If that’s the case, I follow that impulse, take a day off if I can and just sleep.
    Sometimes I feel exhausted and want to cry, so I cry as much as I need to. Other times I feel like I need distraction so I watch a funny movie, fun music videos or go out for a walk somewhere nice.
    I think being able to feel whatever my body feels helps me identify ways to cope at different moments. Sometimes it’s daydreaming of something that makes me happy.

    #1659

    mariposa
    Participant

    This is a great question, misstree. I try to just be kind to myself during those times and focus on what feels right for me in the moment (in similar ways to what Angel88 said). I also try to separate the things I truly have to do (go to work, check in with my family) from things that aren’t as necessary (chores, email, errands, social events, etc.) and then as long as I’ve done those first ones, going easy on myself about the others until I’m starting to feel better again. Recognizing that it’s okay to let go of certain things for awhile as a form of self-care, and to trust my instincts about what I need to do for myself to feel better (whether that’s go for a walk, talk to a friend, watch movies all day, or just sit and be sad).

    Something Sara talks about that I’ve found really helpful during hard times is seeing our emotions for what they are (normal human experiencies), and just sitting with those feelings without placing judgment on them. She writes about this in her book, but for me it really clicked when I did a coaching session with her about a year ago. I was doing this A LOT and didn’t even realize it, but being aware of those thought patterns and trying to stop has and made those periods of sadness less complicated and easier to get through. For anyone wanting some support with this, you might consider doing a coaching session. I know I found it to be really worthwhile. The past few years have thrown some pretty challenging experiences my way, and those strategies have definitely helped (thank you, Sara, if you’re reading this!).

    #1660

    misstree
    Participant

    Hi Angel88, Hi mariposa

    Thank you for sharing! Yes, I’ve been trying to listen more to my body and what it needs versus plowing through the day, doing what I think I “should” be doing. It’s not always easy, but it helps to know I’m not alone in these (very human) struggles :*)

    @mariposa I have tried coaching sessions with Sara as well, and also found it very helpful. To be honest, I’m in regular therapy as well, which has been immensely helpful for my emotional/mental well-being. But thanks for the heads-up!

    Here’s another question. As much as the concepts of self-compassion and self-kindness have helped me, though, I do wonder, “Can we ever be too kind to ourselves?” Like, will we ever be so lenient that we let ourselves go entirely?

    #1662

    mariposa
    Participant

    Here’s another question. As much as the concepts of self-compassion and self-kindness have helped me, though, I do wonder, “Can we ever be too kind to ourselves?” Like, will we ever be so lenient that we let ourselves go entirely?

    This is something I think about too. It seems like those lines can become easily blurred. I don’t have the answer, but for me, I think I try to give that sadness space in a way that doesn’t allow it to completely take over my life. Like if I’m having a hard weekend, I might let myself have Saturday for whatever it is I need to do to feel better. But then on Sunday I’ll make a list of things I have to get done for the day, and then once they’re done I give myself space to be sad again if that’s still how I’m feeling. It’s a tricky balance though, I know. I guess it’s about continuing to be engaged in life while still making time and space to feel those feelings, and that probably looks a bit different for everyone. What do you find works for you, misstree?

    #1663

    misstree
    Participant

    @mariposa here’s what my therapist has to say in relation to this:

    “Just remember compassion is all about balancing care and respect. When we’re ‘too kind,’ it’s likely that we’re not respecting ourselves and our ability :)

    An analogy she often uses to describe self-compassion is that of a good sports coach. You’re not going to let your team player slack off, but if you know he/she is facing personal issues, you’re not gonna force them to work hard either. You’ll cut them a little slack and give them some breathing room. That said, you’ll also know when they’re just trying to skive, which is when you’ll push them to work harder.

    However, like you said, it’s a tricky balance. There are so many voices in our heads competing for our attention. However, one thing I really took away from Sara’s book and coaching sessions was the practice of meditation. While I’m not the most conscientious meditator, I’ve found that the simple action of taking 10 minutes a day to just focus on breathing really helps ease the anxiety and constant go-go-go of daily life.

    Come to think of it, slowing down and just focusing on my breathing really helps ease those feelings of discomfort and despair as well. Even if it’s just for a little while :)

    • This reply was modified 6 months, 1 week ago by  misstree.
    #1666

    mariposa
    Participant

    Thanks @misstree. I like that analogy. And I completely agree about meditation. I also do 10 minutes and sometimes just a few times a week, so I too could be more conscientious in my practice. But I’ve still found it to be so helpful, both in calming my mind and in helping me become more aware of my thoughts, which has then made it easier to focus on the thoughts that are kind and productive and avoid the ones that aren’t (like not placing judgment on my feelings, going back to that earlier post). Like you said, there are so many benefits to just slowing down and being present, and a year or so after starting I can really see the positive impact it has had.

    #1667

    LoneStar
    Participant

    Love the discussion and shared thoughts, especially when it comes to self-compassion and self-respect.

    I go through waves of sadness, despair and hopefulness. Sometimes I have to reach out to someone to talk to them or to just not alone. I’ve found when I am at home alone for far too long it really has a negative impact on me (I’m a “social introvert” so I crave meaningful interactions with people). I’m working on being more mindful and really developing a deeper spiritual connection with God, to recenter my life so that I’m not just focusing on what I don’t have but looking at what I do have.

    I had recently started writing in my “Five Minute Journal” which was helping a lot, to focus on gratitude and making every day great(er). I need to get back into it.

    #1668

    misstree
    Participant

    Hi Lonestar

    Thanks for sharing! I know what you mean about the gratitude journal. I tried that as well, but got lazy and stopped after awhile. I really should get back into it. I hope this post inspires you to get back to journaling as well!

    May I just say, I love how all of you are so candid about opening up to these sticky, uncomfortable feelings. Coming from a society that mostly celebrates the bright and beautiful, it’s so comforting to find people who aren’t afraid to get real :)

    #1681

    mariposa
    Participant

    Thought of one more thing – making a list of things I can control vs. things I can’t. I keep this in my phone and look at it when I need to. Sometimes I go through periods where I feel stuck in certain circumstances in my life, I find it helps me focus my thoughts and energy onto something that will actually have an impact, rather than obsessing over things that I don’t really have the power to change.

    And @lonestar, thanks for the reminder about gratitude journals. I used to do this and found it helpful, but have gotten away from it. I need to get back into this too. :)

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