I was talking to a client yesterday... Her only son is a high school senior. Prom and graduation have been cancelled. She admitted she feels bitter, but then brushed it aside as a "first-world problem."
I was texting a friend the other day... As part of her company's executive team, she had to take a 10% pay cut. "Trying to be grateful," she texted.
In other conversations, I've heard people express frustration, but catch themselves. "At least I have a comfortable home." "At least I have a job." "At least we're all healthy."
Of course, gratitude is awesome. It can help you find perspective and feel better fast.
But if you stuff down your other feelings, they don't go away.
You can BOTH be grateful AND have your feelings.
We're all being handed massive curve balls right now. It's normal to feel sad, scared, and frustrated.
It looks like many of us will be home longer than hoped. If you feel anxious, angry, or weary, it makes sense.
Last year, I wrote a series on self-compassion. A pandemic seems like the perfect time to bring back a key practice.
Fill-in-the-blank... "It makes sense that I feel___because___."
~ "It makes sense that I feel disappointed because I've always imagined I'd see my son walk across the stage to get his diploma." (Then you could add: "Anyone in this situation would probably feel the same.")
~ "It makes sense that I'm frustrated. I'm working more hours, but making less money." ("Anyone in this situation would probably feel the same.")
~ "It makes sense that I feel irritable. I'm not getting any me-time now that everyone's home."
If you doubt that your feelings are normal and someone else would probably feel the same, what would it be like for 1% of you to believe it? (Wine with your BFF is awesome, but you can also validate your own feelings.)
In several coaching calls lately, when my clients have put a finger on their feelings, tears have welled up. If that happens to you, it's all good, my friend.
Have you ever noticed that it's impossible to keep crying? That you cry - and then there are no more tears - and then you feel a little better?
Feelings don't last. They pass through us...if we let them.
This is a stressful time.
You can BOTH be grateful AND feel your feelings.
Whatever you're feeling, my friend, it makes sense.
I'm sending you love and peace.
All my best always,
My name is Sheila Devi.
As an Executive Coach, I help my clients learn new ways to manage professional and personal stress so they can enjoy the beautiful lives they've created.
Interested in one-on-one coaching? I currently have two openings available. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Want to read more about self-compassion. Check out the blog.
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