How to: Develop Self Compassion + Resilience

How to: Develop Self Compassion + Resilience

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I know what its like to wake every day facing an internal battle.

The inner turmoil can be constant – and I experienced this every day of my eating disorder and through my recovery.

I have learnt from these experiences, and now do everything I can to ensure my mindset doesn’t revert back to old negative thought patterns. Although sometimes, they can sneak in.

There are a few thing that I do when facing these more difficult times…

Accountability



One day I had a realisation, I had to own my thoughts and actions, holding myself accountable for them in order to move forward and escape the cycle. 

And so, I spoke to a friend about what I was feeling.


Feel the Feels



My friend told me to sit with how I felt. To observe exactly what I was thinking and feeling. 

Society is constantly telling us to ‘stay positive’. 

Through our social feeds we are continuously bombarded with messages of happiness, perfection, and quick fixes to all of our problems. 

These messages are giving us the false sense that feeling bad is something we should be ‘getting over’, something we should just ‘think positive’ about. 

We are forgetting that its actually okay if we are not okay.

 For me, acknowledging those days and accepting them is actually something that helps me to move on from them. It gives me the space to reflect on whats happening for me at that point in time.

Take a Mental Health Day



Something else I do when I feel those negative self talk patterns coming on, is give myself permission to take a ‘mental health day’. Now this doesn’t have to be a whole day, it could be a ‘mental health hour’, or what ever works for you!

 On these days (or hours), I focus solely on self care. I let go of all guilt associated with not doing chores or other responsibilities (they can wait). 

I allow myself the time to feel bad if that’s what I’m going through, and while this is happening I nurture and nourish myself. I do things like; go for a walk, actively breathe in fresh air, have a bath, listen to music, read, or watch something terribly corny on Netflix.

Forgive Yourself



Then, we have the next step; self-forgiveness.



This is something I’ve found a little trickier to figure out. Forgiveness is still something I continuously work on. But it does get easier.

 It may feel weird at first, especially if you haven’t explored the idea of self-forgiveness before, but it is an essential part of self compassion and healing moving forward.


Practice Over Time



Over time, adopting these new thought patterns of accountability, acceptance and forgiveness, you can develop resilience.

 The Oxford dictionary defines resilience; “The capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness.”

Mark Manson talks about resilience in relation to emotional diversity:

“Researchers think that people who experience a wider range of these types of specific subcategories of emotions are more resilient in the face of adversity because they’re better at identifying what triggers those emotions. And thus, if you know exactly what’s making you feel the way you feel, it’s a whole lot easier to react appropriately to it.
People who practice a wide range of emotions are self-aware enough to know what triggers these emotions and then act accordingly. This makes them feel more in control of their lives, a huge factor in determining happiness and general well-being.”



Being resilient does not mean that we do not face the tough times. We still face them. 

But, over time using these practices, resilience will strengthen, and you are able to bounce back from these times much faster.

Jaime is a Clinical Nutritionist (BHSc) from Perth, Western Australia. Her passion is in nutrition and mental health, with a focus on eating disorders, as well as depression, anxiety and sleep disturbance. She volunteers for an eating disorder clinic through their online support program as a mentor. Jaime has lived experience with body image issues and an eating disorder which spanned six years, and it is her mission is to help people create a life where food can be enjoyed. Find her at Nutrition Mind Collective.

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