How good are you at giving YOURSELF grace?? 🥰
This is a subject that often comes up in my coaching with chronic illness warriors. From what I've seen (and experienced), it's far easier to give grace to others than to ourselves. But learning to extend this to ourselves can be very empowering.
Recently, one of my clients wanted to discuss how to follow through on daily plans while dealing with chronic illness and chronic pain - others could do it but why couldn't she? I reminded her that none of us lives the exact same experience even if we have the same diagnosis (or more likely diagnoses). And "comparisonitis" has to go. As the saying goes..."comparison is the thief of joy."
If we can learn to recognize what we are accomplishing - especially under challenging conditions - then we can begin to give ourselves grace. BUT HOW??
If there's one thing I've learned about chronic illness it's that it is always UNPREDICTABLE and this can be one of the most challenging parts about it!
Here are a few tips:
Start the day by choosing 1-3 things that you feel are a priority to accomplish that day. On a high pain or in the midst of a flare, this could be just ONE thing. We all have that ongoing "to do" list - the one that keeps growing and where things get shuffled about depending on - well, life. But if we focus on what we feel is most important for a given day and get that thing done, then that's success!
Also, acknowledge that even what seem like the most mundane things are accomplishments. Got out of bed? Maybe even get dressed? Made the bed, attended class, or worked on a project? All of these things count but we rarely prioritize them so we don't check them off the list. Giving ourselves credit for what we CAN DO is huge!
Now here's one thing I do that's a bit embarrassing to admit, but, hey - it works for me! There have been days where I've made that priority "to do" list for myself and then suddenly it's late afternoon and I look at it and feel so frustrated with myself for not getting "anything" done! But when I look back over my day, I realize I changed my sheets, did laundry, food prepped, posted on social media, responded to a few emails, etc... I may not have gotten the things on my list done but I DID get things done. Know what I'll do then?? I will literally add those things I did to the top of my list and (wait for it...) - I'll actually check them off!!
Ridiculous?? Perhaps! But, for me, seeing these things checked off sends the signal to my brain that I was successful after all! 🎉
Of course there are many more ways to work on giving ourselves grace. These are just a few I thought I'd share.
How do you give yourself grace when you're feeling the frustration of not achieving enough or comparing yourself to someone else, while chronically ill or not?
And, do any of you add things to your "to do" list just so you can check them off? No? Just me?!! 🙈😉