A Little Tenderness…
At Insight Matters we have 60 talented psychotherapists, psychologists and counsellors. We are proud our therapists come from diverse backgrounds, ethnicities, the neurodiverse and LGBTQ community and are passionate about supporting our clients on a wide range of issues.
Along with supporting our clients through counselling and psychotherapy we also want to help them become more informed and assist them to take charge of their own mental journey through psychoeducational articles written by our therapists.
Tracy Mallon is one our psychotherapists and works with individuals, couples and families and has special interests in neurodiversity, mental illness, anger management, PTSD/CPTSD, issues related to childhood trauma/abuse, family estrangement and sexual trauma.
A very warm welcome to this space, especially created to offer you a little tenderness. The very fact that you are reading this is a testimony to our need for compassion and tenderness, now more than ever. It is my wish that these words will offer you some of what you long for to regulate your system and feel at ease in your body and your mind.
How are you really doing? I hope you are well; I trust that you are keeping safe and sane in any way you know how. I hope you are finding ways to make these extraordinary days bearable, whatever that means for you. I hope you have enough food, a comfortable space to curl up with a good movie, series, or book, and the care of neighbours, friends or family who check-in and, or keep connected regularly on video chat.
For those who need help to keep going to work in essential jobs, with things like childcare, cooked meals or weekly shopping, be sure that it is okay for YOU to reach out too!! In reaching out you can bring a sense of purpose to others who would like to be of service too during the pandemic, none of us can do it all alone, share the load in whatever way you can, this will mean your needs get met, and your needs are just as vitally important as the needs of your customers, your patients, your boss, your clients.
Some, just like you maybe, are so used to doing it all, to always being the helpful one, the carer, the one everyone looks to and relies on. When this is what is familiar to you, it can feel so difficult, so uncomfortable, or even scary, to reach out to someone else for a helping hand for yourself. Perhaps this is with good reason, perhaps you have never had anybody to rely on before. Maybe you have overcome your discomfort to make that move and reach out in the past, only to be refused or turned away by the person you needed. Perhaps you were made to feel bad for asking for something of someone else. It’s important to know that not everyone can help you, not everyone is able to be supportive in the way you need, but that does not mean that you should give up on ever finding the people who can and will support you. Sometimes we need to change where we look for those who can and will happily meet us how we need and not shame us for having needed them.
If you are getting by and have all you need and can lend a hand to help another by fixing a meal, helping out with essential childcare, or doing a weekly shop for another, then please keep reaching out, and keep offering, as the longer this goes on the more in need our essential workers may be, so somebody who refused your help in the previous weeks, might now quite gratefully receive that good deed.
If you are struggling or if you are getting by, know that you are safe and doing the best you can, we all react to events in different ways. There’s no need to add to the stress or struggle. If you don’t feel like taking on more, this may already be a challenge enough for you just to support yourself, or if living with your immediate family, so you may need to SAY NO to taking on a helping role to others, be assured that’s okay too.
No one size fits all, you may find it helpful to keep a schedule, you may find it creates pressure to think about being productive or more productive, right now. So when you see posts on media platforms suggesting you lack discipline, if you are not doing all the things you always wanted to do, remember this is an opinion of a person unknown to you, it is a harsh an ill-considered generalised pronouncement that takes no account of the global trauma being experienced on multiple layers in our society now. So, while keeping busy and focused might be an adaptive coping skill for one, it may be more dysregulating and distressing for someone who is in survival mode and working hard to get by.
The most important thing for each of us to do is take care, know that you are enough, that you are doing your best, reach out or accept help that’s offered if you can, be safe, be well and this will pass.
Perhaps you could experiment with me now, if you are open to this and it feels safe for you to do so,
- Place a hand or both hands on your heart.
- Take a breath. And just notice the inhale and the exhale, how fast or slow is your breathing, are your breaths shallow or deeper, simply observing now without any need to adjust anything.
- Notice, if you can, the beating of your heart, you are alive.
- If you can try out the following phrases, say gently to yourself; I’m okay; I’m here now and I’m always doing my best; this time is difficult because there is so much risk, worry and sadness; I need consoling, I offer myself love and compassion; I offer all other beings love and compassion.
Remember when we bring love and compassion to ourselves, we are adding to the love and compassion in the world. Continue to mind yourself.
Warmth & Goodness,