Self Compassion in Unhealthy Circumstances

The other day I was listening to a podcast and I was struck by something the host had said

 

“It is healthy to be unable to adapt to unhealthy circumstances”

 

If you have to read that a few times to let it sink in, please do! I certainly had to rewind and listen to it again. So often, we are disappointed or hard on ourselves when we are struggling to get it all done; our workload increases, a family member falls il, we fall ill, the kids activities are at an all-time high, our relationships are suffering, we don’t have capacity to meal prep, we lean more on convenience foods, we haven’t been to the gym in weeks, etc. I’m sure you have your own list that you are tallying. During these life seasons of higher demand, our bodies can start to feel the wear and tear. Perhaps we are sleeping less, resting less or eating less of the foods that serve us well. I am a firm believer that the only thing that can make these moments worse is guilting yourself for NOT being capable of “doing it all.” So often I hear people say “I should be able to handle this, I should be able to do this, why am I failing at this?” and most times, the better question is this: Why do you think that you should be able to do this? Why do you think that you are failing?

 

Again, “It is healthy to be unable to adapt to unhealthy circumstances”

 

There are seasons of life that simply demand more and our capacity shifts. Sometimes we can change these demands by asking for help or placing strict boundaries and sometimes we simply cannot. We are humbly reminded that we are actually in the passenger seat. If you are finding yourself in a season of life where the circumstances are not conducive to health, instead of self-criticism, try self compassion. The research on self compassion and health outcomes is truly astonishing. The research on self compassion and healing burn out (the byproduct of a very prolonged and untended hectic season of life) is even more so. Here are some of my favourite free resources on self-compassion to get you started.