In the previous blog I talked about self-compassion, what it is and why it’s so important. If self-compassion isn’t something you regularly do or know how to do, then keep reading because in this blog I will give you some tips on how to practice self-compassion and make it apart of your life.
- Forgiveness; Do you always punish yourself for your mistakes? Everyone makes mistakes but instead of being hard on yourself for them, try accepting that you’re not perfect and be gentle with yourself. If this is something you find yourself regularly doing, then write something on a sticky note that encourages self-compassion. I really like to use this quote as my reminder “It’s okay to make mistakes, if you learn from then”.
- Treat yourself like you would your best friend: How would you treat your best friend when they make mistakes, do you treat your best with love, care and do you nurture then? Then ask yourself do you treat yourself the same way and if not then try responding to yourself like you would your dearest friend. Your friend deserves this treatment so why not you? You can also try writing a letter and imagine your best friend is struggling or being negative towards themselves, what would you say to them, what compassion and nurturing would you give them? After writing the letter address it to yourself and read it out loud.
- Spend time doing pleasurable activities: When you’re feeling shame or disappointment about something you have done you can sometimes feel like you don’t deserve doing something pleasurable for yourself. But remember we all deserve joy in our life so allow yourself to experience true happiness by doing something you love as an act of self-compassion.
- Take care of your mind and body: Our bodies carry us around all day and our minds never stop even when we are sleeping, so have compassion and take care of your body and mind by doing positive things like eating healthy, exercising regularly, getting enough sleep and do things that invigorate your mind and thoughts like researching and learning how to better yourself.
- Focus on self-compassion statements: If practicing self-compassion is something that’s very new to you, then start out by doing simple acts of self-care and small gestures of kindness towards yourself like telling yourself self-compassion statements. You can take this a step further once you feel comfortable by writing a list of negative self-talk statements and then make another column where you can respond to the statement with a self-compassion response, like you would your best friend or a child.
- Practice self-compassion guided meditations and exercises: Dr Kristen Neff is very well known for her research on Self-Compassion and has developed these practices to help you with self-compassion. https://self-compassion.org/category/exercises/
Written by: Kimberley Aguet, Virtual Psychologist