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  • Writer's picturejen saraceno

Give Yourself a Little Grace and Self Compassion

We all deserve a bit of grace and self-compassion…maybe now, in this year 2020, more than ever! I don’t know about all of you, but I’ve struggled with this concept for decades. Yet, I am slowing learning how and when to do this. And over the course of the past two weeks, well, I think I finally did it…this grace and compassion thing. Here’s how it all went down…

You see, today was my first workout in two weeks. Some of you may have had the following reaction… “Gasp! What say you? The horror?! You haven't worked-out in two weeks!!??” I know…right??

Well, if we were having this conversation a couple of months ago, maybe so. I likely would have lamented how it was just a bad job that I haven’t worked out…made some empty promises to myself to get back in the game…judged myself for failing to make the time to exercise my body.

Not this time. There’s a lot happening (or not happening) in my life right now…personally and professionally…some of it in my control, some of it completely out of my hands. So, on top of those stressors, I DID NOT need to pile on negative self talk, personal judgment, or promises to my tired badass self that I would not keep.

Knowing the schedule I would face the past two weeks—early starts, long days, appointments taking me on mini road-trips across the DC-MD-VA area—I chose to forgo workouts, making room for some much-needed sleep. I didn’t put workouts in my planner, I didn’t tell myself I was going to workout in the morning as my head-hit the pillow, I didn’t worry about or kick-myself for NOT working out.

And it was the BEST DECISION EVER!

I was feeling maxed out. My body and mind needed to recharge. What I didn’t need was another thing to squeeze into my day. I was doing enough during the last two weeks for my personal health—eating well, chiropractor appointment, time with my wellness team, getting enough rest, and walking at least a mile each way between my car and the office. I was confident I could go without the sweat sessions. My Peloton collected a little dust but that’s an easier fix than having to repair a broken Jen.

What I really needed the past two weeks was a little grace and self-compassion. I am getting better at recognizing this need in myself and giving myself the space to embrace it…own it…run with it without any self-criticism.

Because I reclaimed some time to rest, I was ready to dust off the Peloton, clip in, and ride out whatever stress lingered in my body. And now I am ready to rock the week!

The world has been dishing messy stuff at us at a rapid fire pace these days…and since the start of the pandemic, well, it’s just a whole lot more messy! It’s harsh, it’s tiring, much of it out of our control…and it likely won’t let up any time soon. One of the things we can control is how we respond to it all. If giving grace and self-compassion is a foreign concept for you like it was for me, I strongly recommend you try it. It’s can be hard work…but the results can be pretty freaking awesome!

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