How do you address self-criticism, self-judgment, not good enough, guilt, or perfectionism as a homeschool mama? With self-compassion techniques for the homeschool mama.
You could, on one hand, not address it at all.
You could do the opposite of self-compassion for the homeschool mama: just beat yourself up, make yourself feel bad, remind yourself how horrible your parenting really is, or at the very least, remember that you are a wee bit incompetent or incapable.
Or, you could address that nasty mean person in your head saying all those things and say, thanks, but no thanks, I’ve got to learn a new way to speak to myself.
How do you propose to do that though?
(It’s hard to get yourself out of your own head).
You have stuff to do homeschool mama! And self-compassion isn’t on the list.
I may have had a chance to practice this a time or two….or shall I add? Still, practice this.
I strongly suspect I’ll always have a chance to learn to speak kindly to myself, and to practice self-compassion.
What do I actually do to change the tide within my mind?
You need to practice self-compassion for the homeschool mama, of course!
I’ll share a few things I do to practice self-compassion.
1. I relearn how to speak to myself.
Self-compassion is a way of relating to ourselves.
But if you think it would have been challenging to turn around the Titanic before it hit that infamous iceberg, well…. it will be just as challenging to turn around the Titanic in your mind.
But it can be done, with a whole lotta preplanning & effort.
(And no naivete that throwing a giant touring ship into the sea will be an easy task, much like your mind: that boat has been all decked out with everything it needs to think since the beginning of your life, and you’ve been practicing every day since you started on this blue and green planet. This won’t be an easy task to turn that Titanic mind around.)
Nope, it will not.
But with a whole lot of intention and practice, you can turn things around.
2. Practice mindful moments.
It’s remarkable how easily we can ignore how we’re feeling or how we’re thinking.
We’re homeschool mamas, so we’re kinda busy.
Or we get too “in our head” and don’t realize that we aren’t present.
How do we deal with that?
It looks like this…
- relaxing our shoulders,
- hands-on lap,
- feet on the floor,
- taking a deep breath for five counts,
- holding that breath for five counts,
- exhaling that breath for five counts…
Then asking ourselves…
- How do I feel?
- What’s going on right now?
- What thought have I told myself?
- Is that thought true?
- What convinced me it is true?
- Is there an alternative way to think?
This self-compassion approach helps us become self-aware, know ourselves, and understand why we tick, what we value, and what our triggers compel us to feel, think, and do.
3. As a form of self-compassion, honour your common humanity.
So the thing is, the reason you’re so dang hard on yourself? Because you’re you.
Would you speak to your friend the way you speak to yourself? Probably NOT.
In fact, likely never.
Cause who would remain friends with someone so hard on someone else?
Give yourself a break: you’re human. Just a regular ole human being having a human experience.
Sure you’ve got stuff to learn. Of course, you’ve got stuff to learn.
You’re a human being!
Turns out, because you’re human (& not God), you’ve got stuff to learn.
So honour your common humanity as the third strategy for self-compassion.
4. Develop self-kindness affirmations.
There is no magic juice to affirmations. But it’s kinda the point of this post: when we practice thinking a particular way, we influence how we think.
Just that simple.
Our brain actually works like that: when we think about something, we create neural networks.
Kinda like a snowball pushed down a hill. The snowball will pick up snow.
Well, your brain will pick up repetition and be more likely to think that thought.
So we have to set our minds on what is true. This is the ultimate form of self-compassion!
5. Feel your feelings and be present in your body.
Some of us are out of touch with our feelings and we don’t know how we feel in our bodies.
So we need to practice guided visualizations, body scans, or meditations to feel where our feelings are located inside our bodies. (These might be the highest form of self-compassion for the homeschool mama).
6. Reach out for support.
You don’t have to suffer alone. (There are 7 billion people in the world and there are a few who feel what you’re feeling.)
- Recognize the value of therapy: check out BetterHelp if you want to do it online.
- Access one-on-one coaching.
- Book the Homeschool Mama Retreat to address a few of the biggest challenges that get in the way of your homeschool satisfaction.
- Check out these podcast episodes:
- An interview with Dustin Eagleston: How to Influence your Homeschool with Self-Compassion.
- Listen to Brene Brown’s podcast or read from her many resources.
- Head over to Kristin Neff’s website for practical guided practices.
Remember that “the most compassionate people are the most boundaried people.”–Brene Brown
Big Emotions Journal for the Homeschool Mom
Introducing the Homeschool Mama’s Toolbox, a resource to help homeschooling mothers manage emotions and enhance mindfulness. It includes Dr. Amen’s three questions for self-reflection. Daily meditation practices and a Thought Care Checklist aid in handling challenging situations. Sharpen your mental tools and improve your homeschooling journey today!
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