Sunday Scaries: A Note on Self-Compassion and Enduring Pressure

April 3, 2022

Oh goodness, what a year it has been so far. I know I'm not the only one who has felt a lot of pressure this year so far. The pressure to reach a new level, heal from past demons and traumas, pressure to show up for myself in an extraordinary way, pressure to lose weight... the list goes on and on. But to sum it all up, the pressure comes down to expecting myself to have my sh*t together all at once, reach all my goals quickly and never disappoint myself. But that ain't how life works. I'm not perfect and neither are the people in my life. 

And that is what I need to constantly remind myself, that extending grace to others, and especially to myself is a skill that I am eager to master. I am starting to realize that consistently showing up for yourself can only be sustained once we learn how to forgive ourselves for showing up in the manner we wish. Quite a paradox, don't you think. The healthiest way to stop disappointing ourselves is to accept that we will disappoint ourselves from time to time and quickly enact self-forgiveness.

We are all just doing our best to figure it out. Every adult I know is dealing with intense external pressures... so why do we manage to add more pressure by beating ourselves up? And having crazy-high expectations for ourselves and for others isn't healthy or helpful. But that doesn't mean that abandoning our boundaries is ok either. That's the dance I'm trying to figure out: extending grace while also upholding boundaries and learning how to hold my own hand through hard chapters. I have NOT figured out how to do this yet, but I am taking small steps each and every day to slowly master this. So here are just a few ways I try to cut myself some slack when things get hard and heavy.

How I extend myself grace when I disappoint myself or just feel overwhelmed: 

1. I gravitate towards a mental health/ mindset podcast. One of my absolute favorites was Imani State of Mind. She no longer records, but I still go back to binge listen to her 38 episodes. Dr. Imani is a psychiatrist who candidly talked about all traumas we were collectively experiencing but she and her co-podcaster always managed to discuss these serious topics with a refreshing note of humor. I also love the School of Self Image Podcast. Whenever I listen to one of Tonya's mindset-focused episodes, I instantly feel lighter. She is ALL about extending ourselves grace. 

2. Journal and cry. There's no way around this. It's inevitable. I tend to bottle up a lot of emotions and then I implode and then I sink into a funk after imploding. And I hate this habit of mine. It's one I have to actively work against. It also got the best of me this weekend and that is because I have been avoiding a lot of my tense emotions. I was even using my alcohol cleanse as a shield from my emotions. Because I wasn't drinking, I was filling a lot of my time with what I thought were productivity activities. But in reality, I was keeping myself super busy and shoving all my fear, pain, guilt, anxiety, shame, anger, frustrations and overwhelm deep down and telling myself that everything was fine. Lol nah it wasn't. So once again, I was reminded that I need to journal and process my emotions. 

3. Do the bare minimum for a day or two. Ok, here me out, sometimes, when you are feeling really low and exhausted (for me that's always after a day of over-drinking and only a few hours of sleep lol Nia when will you learn?) you really need to accept that your best today is not going to be amazing. The only thing you can do is take it one task at a time and not freak out about the results of whatever you are working towards. 

4. Set a timer and clean for 15 minutes. Put on music and clean. You will feel better. You just will. 

5. I cook an easy, yet relatively, healthy meals and just focus on leisurely enjoying them. This is one of my favorite tricks because it makes me feel like I'm taking care of myself. So even if I don't get anything else on my to-do list done that day, at least I took care of my body and I saved money by cooking at home. 

Idk about you, but I certainly keep creating the same problems in my life over and over because I am still struggling to grant myself grace. I am learning that life will always put pressure on us, but the more grace we extend towards ourselves, the more pressure we can endure, and baby, diamonds are born out of pressure. We can totally do this. Wishing you all the love and a peaceful Sunday! 

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