GRIEF is a journey of SELF-COMPASSION. However, it can begin with frustration, anger, and self-criticism. It can include negative self-evaluations, such as "that was dumb", "that wasn't good", "I am a failure", "I shouldn't have done that", "I should have known", "I wasn't a good parent/spouse/child", etc.
Additionally, many people experiencing loss report being hard on themselves. This can look like asking yourself tough and difficult questions such as, Why do you do that? How did you not see that? What were you thinking? Why are you still grieving?
I think it's very interesting that we find it easier to be encouraging and supportive of others, while we also find it challenging to encourage and be kind to ourselves. Often, people feel that if they are hard on themselves, they will perform better or behave better. On the contrary, being hard/critical on oneself has been associated with depression, anxiety, shame, low self-esteem, guilt, and regret.
WHAT IS SELF-COMPASSION?
Self-compassion is basically being kind to yourself. It means being supportive and understanding. Self-compassion is about giving yourself kindness, warmth, and honor instead of shame, reproach, and contempt.
1. Be KIND to yourself (say kind things to yourself)
2. Give yourself a HUG
3. Tell yourself, "I AM OK"
4. Take a 15-minute break
5. Tell yourself, "I LOVE YOU" or "I AM LOVED"
6. Identify 3 things that you are GRATEFUL for each morning
It's important to PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE these and other self-compassion exercises. Practicing will help you traverse the various terrains on the path of grief. Incorporating these tips into your life will help you DISCOVER and APPRECIATE the importance of being kind, warm, and compassionate to YOURSELF.