LOSING THE WEIGHT OF GUILT
Updated: Jan 3
Guilt is a weight that most of us carry in varying degrees throughout our lives. It’s a common and normal part of the human experience, but it’s still something that is important to monitor. Guilt is a giant burden on not only our minds but our bodies as well. At its worst it can quickly lead to other mental struggles like shame and anxiety, and physical struggles such as upset stomach and lack of sleep.
It isn’t all bad, as it serves an important purpose by protecting our interpersonal relationships and moral code. However, we often experience feelings of shame and guilt even when it’s not necessary. That being said, here are some of common guilt triggers that you can absolutely feel free to release yourself from.
As any mother knows, motherhood can be extremely guilt inducing. Daily, we compare ourselves to other moms we see, and because we love our children so much, it’s hard to ever feel that we are giving them enough of ourselves. Then, on top of the inner battles with guilt, we are also bombarded with mom-shaming from others around us and society as a whole. We are expected to live up to a truly unattainable standard. Working moms are shamed for allowing others to care for their children or spending less time with them, while stay at home moms are simultaneously shamed for not working. We are told that we need to be emotionally available for them 24/7, patient, 100% prepared and all-knowing in any situation.
But let me be a reminder that screen time and other distractions don’t make you a bad mom. Taking a mental break when you need it does not make you a bad mom. Working doesn’t make you a bad mom. If motherhood is your fulltime work, that doesn’t make you a bad mom. Mama, if you are loving those babies of yours (regardless of their age ;) ), and you are working every day to provide for their needs, you are doing fantastic! Be proud of your mom wins, accept that you will make mistakes, and let go of any guilty feelings that may be attached to motherhood for you.
Maintaining Perfect Health & Diet
I have great news for you! Even the healthiest person or people you know aren’t perfect. Yup. It’s true! So, don’t expect to maintain a perfect diet all the time. Life is short, and there is space in a healthy lifestyle for margaritas and tacos (can I get an alleluia!?) If your summer has been filled with dinners out, BBQs with friends, and missed workouts, you can be thankful, not guilty. In fact, guilt and shame can actually have an adverse effect on weight loss and maintenance due to an increase in cortisol. If you are making an effort to eat well and care for your body, while also enjoying the imperfection when life throws you curveballs, that’s perfectly healthy. Don’t ruin your perfectly lovely get-together by stressing about what you will and won’t eat or drink.
Setting boundaries, although extremely healthy for your mental health in many ways, can also be guilt-inducing. So, this is your reminder that you have every right to say no to something without giving an explanation. If it’s just too much for you, you feel overwhelmed or you have other priorities that come first, that is perfectly valid. Your mental health comes before any obligation you feel toward others.
Releasing the Guilt
How to release it. Acknowledge any feelings of guilt and face them head-on. Express your feelings to another person or by writing it down in a journal, etc. Work to release feelings of what “should” be and focus on what is and ways you can move forward. It’s likely you will find reasons you are feeling guilt unnecessarily. Even if there is a valid reason for your guilty feelings, you can and should work to make peace within yourself. Apologize to others you have wronged or to yourself. No matter what, it’s important to practice giving yourself grace and accept the fact that you are human – you cannot and should not be expected to be everything for everyone at all times.
As a Certified Transformational Nutrition® and Life Coach, I specialize in helping others find their healthiest selves – inside and out! If you could use some guidance in any of these areas, I’d love to book a completely free consultation with YOU!
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Lucie Mitchell, CTNC & CTLC
Fierce and Beautiful Wellness, LLC
This blog post is provided for educational and informational purposes only and is not medical, mental health or healthcare advice. The information presented here is not intended to diagnose, treat, heal, cure or prevent any illness, medical condition or mental or emotional condition.