As many Americans prepare to toast their country’s past on the Fourth of July, there’s no escaping that not every facet of that history has been worth celebrating. In fact, for a great number, this very moment may fall into that latter category, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to rock the nation and a growing number of people confront the inescapable facts of past and present racism. June polling revealed that Americans are unhappier now than they have been in decades, and a majority believe the U.S. is heading in the wrong direction.
Many people have asked us how self-compassion practice might help them get through this challenging time. Everyone has been affected to some degree by the coronavirus, perhaps by anxiety about the invisible threat to our communities, loneliness from self-quarantine, economic hardship, or difficulties when we contract the virus ourselves or need to care for sick people.
Below are 10 practices from the Mindful Self-Compassion program that could be helpful, along with brief explanations. All these practices can be found in The Mindful Self-Compassion Workbook and guided recordings are available [click here] for those practices marked with an asterisk (*).
The freeze response is a natural reaction to extremely frightening or traumatic situations. If you have PTSD or have experienced some sort of trauma in the past, any situation that reminds you of your trauma may trigger the freeze response. If you find yourself freezing, taking some deep breaths and paying attention to your physical sensations and surroundings can help. While you can’t completely prevent the freeze response, there are steps you can take to make it a little less likely, such as practicing relaxation techniques while you are calm. Getting professional therapy can also be helpful.