Our Wellbeing Manager, Vicki Burns talks about the importance of being self-compassionate and caring for ourselves during this challenging time.
We talk a lot about being kind and compassionate to others in these challenging times but often shy away from the idea of being self-compassionate and caring for ourselves.
We might think it’s a bit self-indulgent and that looking after everyone else means we just don’t have the time.
However, self-compassion really matters and studies have proven that those that have the most self-critical inner voices are most likely to suffer anxiety and depression.
Really all self-compassion is about recognising when things are hard and not perfect that you deserve to be treated with kindness and care. And let’s face it, things are far from perfect at the moment.
So with Valentine’s Day coming up, here are the Wellbeing team’s top three tips to help you start practicing self-compassion and show yourself some love!
Talk to yourself like you are talking to a good friend
If you find this hard, write down the things you are struggling with on one side of a piece of paper, for instance “I should have cleaned the house today.” “Why am I not better in big social situations?”
Then on the other side, reply but as if you were speaking to a friend. “The house is really not messy and it was important you rested.”
“You are brilliant in one-to-one situations, always genuinely interested in people and you never forget names.”
We’d never give our friends a hard time when things are already tough, so don’t do it to yourself!
Make time for a self-care activity each day
Without sounding like a 90’s hair advert, you are worth it! So take the time to do something every day that helps you feel good.
A walk in the park, lighting that lovely candle that smells great, cooking a meal from scratch.
Whatever makes you feel good, it’s a way of reminding yourself that you matter.
Write down one thing every day that you are proud of
Even on the days you think nothing has gone right, (in fact especially on those days!) write down something that you are proud of.
If you find this one a bit difficult, call up that good friend from the number one tip.You can keep a journal but we particularly like doing them on separate pieces of paper and collecting them in a big jar.
You only need to do it for a month and you’ll have at least 28 pieces of paper reminding you how awesome you are! Who wouldn’t be cheered up by that?
For more on self-compassion and self-care we recommend;
Dr Kristen Neff : https://self-compassion.org/
Professor Brene Brown : https://brenebrown.com/