How Do I Practice Self-Compassion?

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How Do I Practice Self-Compassion? | Expressions Counselling

In my previous post, I told you about self-compassion. In case you don’t remember, that’s ok! Let me remind you. There are three parts of self-compassion; self-kindness, accepting pain as part of life, and mindfulness. Now I would like to give you some practical tips for how to implement self-compassion into your life.  

Write yourself a letter

A great way to show yourself self-kindness is to write yourself a letter. Journaling is a beneficial way to express your emotions. Try imaging a friend of yours that sees all your strengths and weaknesses and is compassionate towards you. Write a letter to yourself from the perspective of this friend. What would your friend tell you if you told them about your struggles? What would this friend say that reminds you that you are human? This can be difficult. If so, imagine what you would say to a friend if they were in your shoes. Come back to this letter whenever you need a reminder that you can look to yourself for strength.

Fill in the blanks

When you are stuck in negativity, it can seem impossible to feel positive emotions or think optimistically. Try filling in the blanks to the following out loud or writing them in a journal.
It’s hard to feel _______ right now.
Feeling _______ is part of the human experience.
What can I do to make myself happier in this moment? _______

Hug Yourself!

This is an easy and immediate way you can comfort yourself when you are feeling down. I know this may sound weird, but I’m serious! Your body doesn’t know whether you are giving yourself a hug or some else is, but it responds to being held either way. Physical touch provides us with feeling secure and it is soothing. So, give yourself a big hug!

Take a Break

A simple way to be more self-compassionate is to allow yourself permission to take a break. This allows you to recharge your batteries. What is recharging for you? It’s different for everyone. Some ideas include a massage, watch a funny movie, dinner with friends, stretch, take a walk, exercise, journal, dance, or read. Especially when feeling compassion fatigue for care workers or nurturers, it’s important to take care of yourself so you can recharge and show that same compassion towards others.

Mindfulness Exercise

When we improve mindfulness skills, we are able to be more self-compassionate. Pick one activity a day that you will be mindful of. Some examples are brushing your teeth, driving, walking or eating a meal. Let’s say you choose eating your breakfast. Can you try being aware of this experience in the present moment? Notice the tastes, smells, and experiences of eating. As you sharpen your ability to attend to a certain task you sharpen your mindfulness skills.

Before moving on with your day and clicking to the next webpage, I encourage you to take a moment and pick one of these to try. Self-compassion can be difficult at first, but the benefits are worth it.

Jordana Saks

Jordana Saks is a Registered Clinical Counsellor at Expressions Counselling. She is passionate about working with individuals to overcome anxiety, depression, trauma, stress, life transitions, and relationship issues. She sees clients in-person at our Burnaby and North Vancouver locations as well as online.

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