3 Tips To Throw A Productive Pity Party

mbg Contributor By Maria Mooney, MSW, LSW
mbg Contributor
Maria Mooney, MSW, LSW, is a licensed social worker and holistic health coach. She received her B.A. in Criminology from the University of Miami and her Master's of Social Work from Rutgers University. She holds her holistic health coach certification from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition.

We’ve all had them: pity parties. You know, those moments when the feel like you're carrying the weight of two worlds, and it becomes too much to carry. Pity parties can be ruthless and depleting and loathsome, but they can also be quite palliative, allowing for emotions to move through us, which is much better than ignoring or rejecting them.

Since starting Gerson therapy, a rigorous nutrition and detoxification healing modality, I've thrown many pity parties. While my natural response is to be so immensely grateful for having the opportunity and support, in more ways than one, to take on such a rigid and uncompromising treatment plan, the social isolation and added physical pain and other symptoms characteristic of the treatment, especially in the beginning phases, can make any self-respecting girl throw herself a pity party. A party of one.

But this doesn't have to be a bad thing! Below are three tips to make your next pity party a productive one.

1. Set a timer. 

Allow yourself the space, time and freedom to do some good ol’ grieving. I recommend the emotional release that comes with a good, hard crying session. Set aside some time to feel sorry for yourself. Whether that allotted pity party time is ten minutes, an hour or an entire day, understand that it must come to an end. When it does, use some tools like cognitive reframing, thought-stopping and the attitude of gratitude to turn your mood around. I can guarantee you'll be swept away by a wave of relief when that timer rings!

2. Discover what you can learn.

If we're going to go through hardships, we may as well learn something from the difficult and demanding times in our lives. That’s the reward for the Herculean tasks we must endure, but we have to possess the self-awareness to discover the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow of misfortunes. Ask yourself if this particular situation was put in your life to teach you something special. Perhaps it was to teach you the art of patience? Could it be a way to bring you closer to your loved ones or yourself? Or maybe it was to teach that self-care is just as important as caring for others? Whatever the lesson, revel in the fact that you've made lemonade out of life’s lemons; an admirable feat!

3. Find support. 

Pity partying by yourself can get a little lonely, so find a trusted friend or loved one to reach out to for the purposes of venting and having your feelings validated by another individual you wildly respect. Sometimes, a mental health clinician or a spiritual counselor is necessary; collaborating with a professional can result in the most enchanted healings: mind, body and spirit. In my early twenties, my time in therapy was so valuable and life-changing that I decided to go into the mental health field as a result of a truly wonderful, mind-blowing and heart-opening experience. You won’t be sorry if you reach out for help. Besides, who wants to party alone?

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