I've been speaking about self-care for a while now, but what is self-care if we don't include compassion in the process?
Compassion is when we feel sympathy for a person's suffering or hardships that they've experienced. Most people experience this with ease, while others find it more difficult to complete (which is okay, we just have to find more ways to practice). When we practice compassion, we may be more accepting of what the person is going through and want to offer some form of assistance. Notice that the word accepting is emphasized here. That's because we can't always change a situation that we find ourselves in OR when we're offering compassion to another person, they might not be looking for a solution to the problem they face.
Can you see why having compassion towards ourselves is important for our self-care?
When we experience self-compassion, we're allowing ourselves to accept when things don't exactly go our way. We aren't beating ourselves up or talking down about our situation. The goal here is to be more encouraging and supportive even when our path ahead looks a little murky.
Self-compassion is showing ourselves some kindness or leeway when things get difficult. We're more accepting of our faults and can identify our strengths that compensate for what we are lacking.
When something doesn't go our way, instead of saying "now I'm stuck here with nothing," "I knew I couldn't do it," or "I'll never be able to..." we use self-compassion to say "It's okay that this didn't work out," "I'll try harder next time," or "I'll make it one way or another."
Self-Compassion is allowing yourself to take a breather and relax before starting a new project or after you've had a really hard day at work. It's a really important way of taking care of ourselves.
Comparing ourselves to others' success, speaking ill of our situations, and neglecting our needs are the OPPOSITE of self-compassion! A good way of keeping our thoughts, feelings, and actions in check is by being more mindful of what is happening in our daily lives.
(Curious about mindfulness? Check out my earlier articles on it!)
The choices we make every day affect us in even the smallest of ways. Be sure to keep some self-compassion. A little goes a long way.
TherapistAid. (2022). How to practice self-compassion. Retrieved on August 7, 2022 from https://www.therapistaid.com/therapy-article/how-to-practice-self-compassion
Neff, K. (2022). Definition and three elements of self compassion. Retrieved on August 7, 2022 from https://self-compassion.org/the-three-elements-of-self-compassion-2/