Be Patient with Yourself by Mindfully Observing Without Judgment
This pandemic doesn’t seem like it’s going away any time soon. As the days turn into weeks, and the weeks turn into months, our patience may begin to run thin. Since we know this, it will be helpful to review how you can become more lovingly patient with yourself.
While you may plan to use the stay-at-home order to feverishly clean your home, write a book, or work on increasing your mastery of a new skill, you might find yourself feeling too down to do so. And that might lead you to feeling worthless or unproductive.
Now is not the time to put such undue pressure on yourself. The stress and worry of trying to make sense of these unpredictable times, is hard on us, whether we admit it or not. It can’t help but change us, as it changes the very world around us.
Does it feel as if you’ve put your life on hold? Does COVID-19 occupy your mind and speech often? Are you neglecting your physical, mental and spiritual health, because your scheduled life has been disrupted? Do you laugh less, get irritated more? Are you glued to social media or spending hours on movies? Do the new restrictions drive you crazy, until you’re knotted with tension? Do you say, “I’ll get back on track, when this is over,” but deep within yourself you wonder if you’ll ever get your life back? All of these are natural reactions to this situation.
At times, to do anything just takes too much effort. Mindfully acknowledge these feelings, without judgment. They are simply telling you something. Perhaps you need to rest, go for a walk, or disconnect from the news. Or perhaps they’re telling you that you’ve lost touch with your purpose and values and it’s time to reconnect.
Think about small and achievable actions that will give you a measure of satisfaction today. It may be eating a more healthful meal. It may mean getting in touch with a friend again. It may be making time for meditation. (My colleague, Louise Santiago, and I developed a free guided meditation called, Daily Start to Gratitude & Empowerment, which people are loving.) At the end of the day, focus on that feeling of satisfaction and let it fill you, so you remember it. It might be helpful to write this in a journal, because it’s easy to forget as the next day brings new challenges.
To be patient with yourself is easier said than done. We’re often our own worst critics. Here’s a gentle exercise you can use to strengthen your patience with self…
- Think about 3-5 values that are most important to you. I’ve added a list of possible ones at the end of this post you can review for inspiration.
- Now turn these values into affirmations and explore whether they resonates with you.
- I am ___________
- I am ___________
- I am ___________
- Did you say “I am _____,” but your inner voice said, “No you’re not, because…” One action does not define you as a person. Stop and explore this further. Turn the event into a vivid, mental motion picture and observe it without judgment. What were the mitigating circumstances in this situation? What would you do differently? The next time you’re in a similar situation, what will you do differently?
- Now go back and speak your affirmations. See how your energy has shifted. If you still meet with resistance, mindfully explore the next thought that comes up. Remember to do this without making a judgment against yourself. It is what it is, so look for what it can teach you.
- Next, seek to accomplish one thing today in alignment with your chosen value. If kindness is your value, what act of kindness can you do?
- Finally, at the end of the day, review your intentions and how you lived up to them. Say your affirmations again and delight in how you are more fully aligned with them.
Each new day is an opportunity. The goal is not perfection. The goal is to be patient with yourself. Then there won’t be any crisis that defines who you are. You will come out of this experience with new resourcefulness and resilience.
If you want a partner to help you stay accountable, please feel free to contact me and schedule an “Unlocking Your Potential” 30-minute complimentary consultation (by phone or via Skype). Let’s discover what it takes to fill in the gaps between your life now and what you want it to be.