Sweat & Smiles: Leaving the Wagon Behind and Cultivating Self-Compassion

By Melissa Romano on November 17, 2018 from Sweat & Smiles via Connect-Bridgeport.com

I fell off the wagon. A sentence I’ve heard a couple thousand times. A sentence I could use when referring to my blog posts… but I won’t. The fact of the matter is, there is no wagon; there is only your life. This year has come with major changes and major challenges for me; I’ve experienced a couple setbacks as well as some of the best days of my life. When someone is in the midst of major changes or major challenges habits and routines could find themselves less than ideal and far from usual. This isn’t “off”, it isn’t “on”, it just is. Once we are able to let go of the idea of being on or off a wagon and accepting the days as they come, we’ll find our way back to where we want to be much quicker.
 
Cultivating self-compassion is a way of showing ourselves grace. The kind of compassion and grace we are always willing to extend to everyone else. This week I was working through this concept with a client; as we talked about her being off the wagon we discussed what she would have done differently now that she is able to reflect on the week. Her answer? Nothing. There was nothing she could have done differently because everything that happened was out of her control. Perhaps she could have drank more water but let’s face it, we could all use more water. In truth, she did nothing wrong. In fact, she did everything she needed to do for herself and for her family. It’s not falling off the wagon, it’s living and adjusting with the parts of life that are out of our control.
 
When we walk the path of self-compassion and grace we tend to find ourselves back into the habits and routines we want to be in much quicker. When we walk the all too traveled path of guilt and off-the-wagon thinking we end up staying on it a little longer than necessary.
 
Most commonly this on again, off again mentality is associated with dieting but certainly can encompass any area of life where you are trying to make changes, implement new habits, or improve. Research has shown that self-compassion can help you overcome the feelings of guilt that you associate with your food choices which means self-compassion is a great tool for promoting change.
 
As we go through this holiday season and prepare for a new year it’s the best time to start cultivating self-compassion and showing ourselves grace. As you identify the changes you want to make, the new habits you’d like to implement, and the ways in which you’d like to improve be mindful of how you can show yourself compassion and grace and make your way towards the habits and routines you want much quicker.
 
Sweat & Smiles,
Melissa



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