It is the height of summer and a manic type of energy abounds. BBQs, beach swims, fireworks. It is easy to get caught up in the frenetic energy of January.

There is a flip side to this excitement though. Societal pressure builds to frenzy and you get caught up in should’s and unhealthy comparison. You feel compelled to cook, clean, and entertain, or just as easily, you feel isolated and lonely as the frenzy takes place around you.

What starts off as excitement can also become pressure, as having fun and relaxing becomes an expectation.

I have let these pressures and expectations affect me and find that compassion is a useful antidote to aim for. Knowing that this is a process and the more I practice it the easier it will become.

compassion

Attending the Bulli Folk Festival this year taught me something about having expectations and not fulfilling them, and about the need to bring compassion and understanding to myself.

Attending a festival can often be like putting a magnifying glass on your emotional state.

I went from having fun to trying to have fun. At the beginning I felt excited to be there and connected to the crowd, by the end I felt alone in a crowd. How could I go from the emotional highs dancing and enjoying myself to feeling low?

I left the festival in tears. Surely, I thought, this is not normal; I’ve let myself down.

I didn’t want to impact others with my emotions. I bought into the message that being emotional is not ok, so I rushed out instead of reaching out.

When I reflected later, I understood my need to cry was human and ok. It softened my heart and filled me with compassion. I felt relieved.

- Michelle Collis, Practice Support Manager at Fostering Hope Psychology

Self compassion is the foundation of mental health. Without it we become stuck in shame and self criticism. The simple act of allowing yourself to feel however you feel without judgement or criticism can shift a difficult moment into a transformative one.

At Fostering Hope Psychology we promote self compassion as the building block for true mental health and well being.

When you practice self compassion, especially in life’s most difficult moments, a positive shift occurs. You go from being stuck, to being free.

It sounds easier said than done, right?

If you want to discover simple and effective strategies for practicing self compassion in your life, call or email to book an appointment with one of our friendly psychologists

Call 0420 320 322 or Email info@fosteringhope.com.au

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