amy@amymadson.org

Many of my clients have been affected by growing up in difficult families of origin. This can be due to a parent’s illness, stressors that significantly impacted family dynamics, and even just a difficult personality fit between parents and the child. From experiences like those, one can start to wonder, “What’s wrong with me?” “Why are things so hard for me?”

It is natural to wonder those types of questions. It can also sometimes be helpful – it may prompt self-examination, making positive changes, etc. However, it can also be a path that promotes beating yourself up, getting stuck, or having a distorted view of reality. Sometimes things just are hard, illness happens, stressors are just too much and it’s not fair. Radically accepting this can allow you to move on to the next step:

Cultivating a feeling of being at home in yourself! This means feeling a sense of peace, calm, and acceptance and/or kindness toward yourself. Seeing reality for what it is with a healthy sense of what is yours to change and what circumstances are not yours to control.

5 ways to start doing this are: treat yourself with kindness like you treat your friends, children, etc., get the facts (are you really causing a problem or is that your negative self-talk taking over), ground yourself in your own body (meditate, kickbox, feel your breath move through your body, whatever helps you feel strong and connected to your own power/body), check in with your self-care care (are you getting enough sleep, water, exercise), and check in with your stress level (are there changes you can make like delegating or saying no so you can be less overwhelmed with general life).

Of course, some practices work better for some. I like this list because it combines the ingredients of self-compassion with good old-fashioned self-care and some boundary setting. What other practices help you cultivate a feeling of being at home in yourself?