What is self-compassion? Self-compassion is being compassionate for yourself when you are struggling or you feel like you are not good enough. Especially during these troubling times when it is hard to be positive about our situations, it is important to be positive about ourselves. Here are 7 ways that we can try to be self-compassionate and truly care for ourselves:
- Write yourself gratitude notes: You are doing a lot of incredible things that are passive, so they often go unappreciated: self-quarantining, social distancing, and more. Write a note for yourself explicitly appreciating yourself for all of the things you have done during this time. How are you grateful for yourself and the hard work you are doing?
- Humor: Allow yourself to watch that hilarious movie, find those funny memes, talk to that funny friend, or do anything else that will make you laugh. Laughing is a way to let loose, be happy, and enjoy life. Giving yourself the time and space to laugh is a way of respecting yourself.
- Check-in with your Body: Whatever your body needs to do, allow it. Whether that be stretching, walking, relaxing, laying down, just sitting and breathing, anything, be okay with it. Physical ease can facilitate ease of the mind.
- Forgive yourself: This is the core of self-compassion. Don’t linger on little mistakes that you make, and remember that we all make many mistakes daily. Try this exercise: Think about a recent small mistake you made: forgetting to do something, saying the wrong thing to someone, etc. Take five deep breaths. Remind yourself that what happened is in the past, what happened will be forgotten, and the consequences of what happened will not last forever.
- Think about what you would offer to a Friend: What do you normally do for a friend that is upset? Do you give them encouraging advice? Remind them that they will be okay? Give them distractions to get their mind off of what is bugging them? What you do to support others can be used as a tactic to support yourself. If you have a specific problem, pretend that your best friend is having that problem: how would you support them?
- Think about what a Friend would offer You: How do your friends normally help you, and how do you normally react when they do? The strategies that usually work to make you feel better can be adapted to these self-quarantining times.
- Focus on Happiness Today. Often, we get upset about things that are distant and out of our control. When will the Coronavirus go away? When will a cure be found? When will my life go back to normal? These questions are important to ask, but with the idea of self-compassion in mind, we should also think about what we can do to impact our lives today. What is in your control, and what is out of your control? What matters today, and what matters further down the line? Making these distinctions can help us focus on what is important to us right now, allowing us to make other self-compassionate decisions
Practice as much as you can to self-compassionate, and who knows: maybe the personal skills you develop during this time will impact you for a lifetime.
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