Today started off kind of shitty: I was heading out the door with my son to take him to the orthodontist on my way to work when I got a call from my first patient cancelling our appointment this morning... this call made me late for my son's orthodontist appointment. After I went back to the house since I had some extra time now before my next patient due to the cancellation. I caught up on some work (note: a new job, yet again, causing me stress as I've had to learn new computer programs, systems, etc), and as I was again walking out the door to my next patient, my husband asks me to handle a banking issue... now. Can't wait. Words exchanged. The rest of the day fighting traffic and parking in the rain, texting, charting on the laptop in the car between patients, eating on the run, handling difficult situations like patients dying of cancer, coming home to the normal night time dinner routine, a child that is tired but can't sleep and wants you to sleep with him WAYYY past his bedtime. You know... the usual life craziness.
The constant multi-tasking of modern life stresses me out. And a small, quiet voice inside, if I really get honest with myself, is constantly saying, "Why can't you handle this? This is just normal life... not climbing Mt. Everest. What's wrong with you?!". By the way, up until a week ago, I didn't even know that voice was there. I just thought it was stress. But in REALLY listening to my internal dialogue in response to stress was eye-opening. I'M REALLY HARD ON MYSELF.
So, now that I "own" the fact that I'm hard on myself during stressful times, my new intention is to learn how to practice self-compassion when I'm stressed out.
According to the Center for Mindful Self-Compassion:
"Self-compassion entails being warm and understanding toward ourselves when we suffer, fail, or feel inadequate, rather than ignoring our pain or flagellating ourselves with self-criticism. Self-compassionate people recognize that being imperfect, failing, and experiencing life difficulties is inevitable, so they tend to be gentle with themselves when confronted with painful experiences rather than getting angry when life falls short of set ideals."
Sounds good, doesn't it?
So ask yourself: What do you tell yourself during stress? And how can you begin to reframe that internal dialogue?
Feel free to chime in on your own experiences or feedback in the comment section below...