Why it’s important to be kind to yourself

Stop beating yourself up for not handling this pandemic right says Catriona Port, a counsellor with our Young People’s Service. And whilst creativity is great, perhaps on reflection,  those origami swans can wait…

A lot of people are giving themselves a hard time right now.

“Why am I not coping better?”

“I have a lot to be grateful for, I shouldn’t be feeling low.”

“I should be doing something productive. Why haven’t I made 59 origami swans before 10am?”

“People have it much worse than me.”

But let me reassure you that right now you are experiencing a change in life that came suddenly and unexpectedly. Like all change, this brings loss – loss of connection, freedom and even safety – the list goes on.

We are grieving for what we have lost. Even if there are positive changes, we should not ignore the losses which have brought pain and struggle.

Can you imagine saying any of the things above to someone else who was, say, grieving the loss of a loved one?

Then why say it to yourself? Even with the knowledge that this will pass eventually, we have had to change everything about the way we connect with others and function – we have lost things we love. It is exhausting.

And yet somehow, you marvellous human being, you have found a way to carry on through all of it. So keep going, whatever way you can. Instead of telling yourself off for not being able to meet unrealistic goals, praise yourself for how much you have adapted to.

Give yourself breaks, rest, say no to things that are too much right now, say yes to things that make you feel good and do what you need to feel connected to others. Telling someone off who is struggling is about as much use as an origami swan – so do NOT belittle yourself.

You are doing an incredible job and we ALL need kindness right now.

Every day in Children’s Mental Health Week (February 1-7) we’re sharing blogs from our counselling and youth work team at Children North East’s Young People’s Service.

Read yesterday’s about the Power of Boredom