Be Kind To You

 Photo by  Johannes Plenio  on  Unsplash

The time has arrived: Evolve Personal Wellness is getting ready to hit the road. 

As many of you know, EPW was created as a way to guide my clients towards sustainable change. I also wanted to have a platform to pass along the wisdom that is shared with me about health and wellbeing from the people I meet and the places I visit in the upcoming months. 

Its finally time. I am getting ready to leave for the trip that my partner and I have carefully designed over the past year. While my focus has been on getting prepared with my business and living situation, it has been a challenge to prepare myself mentally and emotionally as well. Goodbyes, even when temporary, have never been my favorite. And I am certainly not good at them. 

These last 2 months have been a good reminder of how practicing self-compassion is essential to managing a big change. With all the preparations and emotional challenges that come with this type of adventure, I found I was forgetting appointments, misplacing items (where the heck did I put my keys!? I actually threw them in the trash at one point) and making mistakes both at home and at work. I became less committed to getting daily exercise, in hopes I could get just a few more things accomplished before the end of the day. The worst is that I found myself skipping my daily mindfulness practice since I don't know quite how to fit it into my constantly changing schedule. 

 Photo by  Andre Hunter  on  Unsplash

Photo by Andre Hunter on Unsplash

As you can imagine, none of these transgressions made me feel very good. I felt unskilled and inadequately equipped to get everything done. My body felt less energized and sluggish. My mind felt scattered and anxious. Then, my old habit of being hard on myself started to creep in. I found myself being harsh and unforgiving in my self talk. I found the judgemental side of myself pointing out each little mistake and ignore any of the positives acompishments of the day. As you can imagine, it wasn't long before I started to feel defeated and sapped of motivation. 

This is where self compassion comes in. I personally feel like self compassion should be a balance of forgiveness and reassessement. In this case, I needed to forgive myself for the mistakes and forgetfulness and understand that I have a lot going on. I needed to remind myself that the mistakes and missteps were inevitable when trying to juggle this many things. Next step, I needed to reassess. What can I do differently to handle what I have going on?  My current systems for keeping me on track aren't working, so what can I do to introduce some new strategies as a way to turn my scatteredness around? If I can't get exercise or meditation in my routine the way I usually do, how can I creatively look at those pieces differently so that I can find time for them?

By committing to doing less in a day, moving slower and being more mindful throughout my activities (with less multi-tasking!), I felt my scattered brain start to become more organized again. I began to keep detailed lists with reminders on my phone.  I compromised with exercise- instead of going to a class, I can do yoga at home instead of driving to classes or run in my neighborhood instead of driving to the lake I usually like to run around. I have been practicing mindfulness much less formally as a guided breathing exercise for 10 minutes, whenever the opportunity presents itself- whether it is in the car, right before bed or while waiting on hold with an insurance company (not my favorite). 

 Photo by  Robert Baker  on  Unsplash

Photo by Robert Baker on Unsplash

Its not to say that there aren't days I still feel overwhelmed. But, reassessing has been a great way to meet myself where I am, instead of where I think I should be.  I never could have done that without first offering myself the compassion and forgiveness that I would certainly extend to a friend in the same situation. I am making the effort to be kind to myself, knowing I need some extra support right now instead of focusing on what I believe I should be able to handle. 

I look forward to sharing what I learn on our travels with each of you and bringing that knowledge to my Year of Wellness clients. Be well and be kind to you!

 

Jennifer Leonard