Friday, February 1, 2019

Healing and Recovery through Self-compassion

I've been grieving, since my son died at the end of last year. This is Part 2 in my Healing Series. 

Often heartache clouds thinking, and I have little energy to do much more than care for myself. 

Slowly I'm finding it's best for overall health to attend support group meetings, reach out to others, journal, pray, meditate, and honor my feelings. 

I'm discovering these and other nurturing practices give me courage to live in the uncertainty of what comes next.  

Many mornings I have to coax myself out of bed, yet I make time to walk in nature, do yoga, or read an inspiring book.

I also have committed to do whatever else is in my power to do, so I can feel less anxious and overwhelmed.

I pray for the power to come to terms with this tragic loss... step by step.

By synchronicity, I read Kristin Neff's book, Self-Compassion: Stop Beating Yourself Up and Leave Insecurity Behind only two months ago. Kristin Neff, PhD, is an associate professor at the University of Texas at Austin. She is known for her work on self-compassion. 

Her writing resonated with me and at that point, I was motivated to make my word for the year "kindness."

Both as a health and lifestyle writer and mother, I share reasons why I put self-compassion in the forefront of my day to support me as I mourn.

Reasons to Use Self-compassion for Healing and Recovery
Part 2

Self-compassion helps us identify our suffering and reminds us to take gentle care of ourselves, especially at these times.

Self-compassion strengthens our determination to accept and approve of our “whole selves,” including mistakes, shortcomings, dark side, and assets.

Self-compassion furthers healing, and even works on wounds and stressors we may not be able to cope with by conventional means.

Self-compassion helps us fashion a meaningful path away from illness, negativity, setbacks and helps us be resilient and able to move on.

Self-compassion reminds us that every human being is precious, deserving of care no matter what our circumstances.

Self-compassion enriches cells in our brain and body. This behavior enhances physical, mental, spiritual, and interpersonal activities we use to support ourselves. 

Self-compassion accentuates feel-good energy.

"My self-compassion mantra is to treat myself tenderly no matter what! 

You can use it to too. Let the power of self-compassion nurture you as you recover from grief and loss." Nancy Andres

A self-compassionate perspective helps us heal and recover 

If you are at loose ends, struggle with negative self-talk, compare yourself unfavorably to others, or treat yourself critically, why not choose instead to be self-compassionate? 

Test it out for yourself and let us know what happens when you do.

Links to Additional Resources:

Self-care Activities to Encourage Optimal Health

5 Self-care Skills You Need to Know

When Leaving Your Ex Love Yourself

5 Ways to Practice Self- Compassion After Loss

Tips to Combine Journal Prompts and Quotes to Heal

Before you go, please comment belowIf you would be so kind, don't put links in your comment. If you do, I won't be able to publish it.

Please share in the space provided below about how you use self-compassion now, what areas of your life could use a little more self-compassion, where you've made progress, and where you excel. 

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  1. Nancy I too have been going through a difficult time and find that taking care of myself lessens the hurt. I have so many people depending on my that I cannot afford to fall apart myself and self compassion is so so important for that.

    1. Sorry you have been going through a difficult time Mary and glad taking care of yourself lessens the hurt. Please take TLC of yourself. You so deserve it. We all do!

  2. I am so sorry for your loss Nancy. This is the hardest thing a parent has to deal with in life and I pray that you will find comfort.

    1. Prayers are what I grateful for today. With them we are not alone.

  3. Thank you for directing me to your post. I am often very hard on myself.
    It reminds me that it is very important to take care of my mental health as well as your physical, and to being kinder is much better overall that being critical. Thank you for this. I was so saddened to hear about your loss though. I cannot even imagine what you are going through. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

    1. Thanks Cathy for the comment and honesty. I've discovered when I'm hard on myself and I admit it, self-compassion can "work on me" to help me lighten up. Perhaps you can pin this so when you're in a slump, it will refresh your memory. Hugs, Nan

  4. Nancy,
    So sorry for your loss -so difficult

  5. I loved reading this one: Self-compassion enriches cells in our brain and body. This behavior enhances physical, mental, spiritual, and interpersonal activities we use to support ourselves.
    How true! I've been going through some grief over the past six months as well, and it's reassuring to know that the self-care I'm learning to prioritize is making real transformation and enrichment physically and mentally. Have you read Heart Talk by Cleo Wade? That's my favorite self-compassion book lately.
    Blessings to you in your self-compassion and healing journey.

  6. Thanks Kelsey for your comment and visit. Love book recommendations and will definitely check this one out. I wish you many blessings and self-compassion galore!

  7. Hi Nancy,
    First let me say that losing a child is something I can't even imagine going through or how you find your way, but it seems like you are. From the bottom of my heart I send my deepest sympathy, love, and prayers for you.
    What you are doing writing about I believe would be very healing.
    To answer your question -- The areas that I need to use more self compassionate is forgiving myself for mistakes of the pass. I use affirmations - different at different times that I say outline to myself and try to practice forgiving others. I find forgiving is so important in finding your way and finding happiness in your life.
    Thank you for sharing your feelings with us. May God be with you and guide you and your family through all this. Marla

  8. Thanks Marla for the support and prayer for my family and me. I wish you healing and many instances when you choose compassion over self-judgment.Many blessings to you.