04 May COVID-19: Feeling Pressure to be Productive? Try Self-Compassion
Are you feeling pressure to be productive during this pandemic? Do you feel that you should be making the best use of your newly expanded free time? While tidying up or learning to bake bread sound like worthy goals, if you’re not feeling motivated for these activities, creating expectations that you’re supposed to be productive can be stressful.
These are uniquely difficult times and it’s normal to feel unmotivated to take advantage of the extra openings in your agenda. Acknowledging this can take the pressure off of feeling you have to perform at a high level.
Instead of being hard on yourself, give yourself some compassion.
Cultivating self-compassion is vital to avoiding feeling down if you’re not as productive as you think you’re supposed to be. Will the world end if you cut yourself some slack? Is there a chance that you might be happier if you decide to be gentler on yourself? Take a break from your expectations of yourself and show yourself some kindness.
“Unlike self-criticism, which asks if you’re good enough, self-compassion asks, what’s good for you?”- Kristin Neff
Imagine that you are your own best friend. When you’re feeling low, give yourself the gift of empathy. This looks like acknowledging your feelings as being valid and not expecting yourself to dismiss them. Imagine unconditional approval of who you are in this moment. Show yourself an act of kindness such as making yourself a cup of tea and listening to soothing music or whatever gesture is meaningful for you.
“A moment of self-compassion can change your entire day. A string of such moments can change the course of your life.” – Christopher K. Germer
For some, giving yourself a break may feel unfamiliar. Working on becoming comfortable with being kinder to yourself may be the most productive accomplishment worthy of achieving. The benefits of cultivating self-compassion will last a lot longer than the loaf of bread your neighbour just baked.