Compassionate self-care is the practice of taking care of yourself with kindness and compassion, even when you don’t feel like it. It’s about recognizing your own needs and taking steps to meet them, even if it’s just for a few minutes each day.
When you practice compassionate self-care, you’re not only taking care of your physical needs, but also your emotional and mental needs. You’re creating a space for yourself to relax, reflect, and heal.
Benefits of compassionate self-care:
- Reduces stress and anxiety. When you take care of yourself, you’re less likely to feel overwhelmed or stressed. This is because you’re giving your body and mind the resources it needs to cope with stress.
- Improves mood. When you take care of yourself, you’re more likely to feel happy and positive. This is because you’re creating a positive cycle of self-care that reinforces itself.
- Increases energy levels. When you take care of yourself, you’re more likely to have more energy. This is because you’re giving your body the rest and nutrition it needs to function at its best.
- Improves sleep. When you take care of yourself, you’re more likely to get a good night’s sleep. This is because you’re reducing stress and anxiety, which can interfere with sleep.
- Boosts immune system. When you take care of yourself, you’re more likely to have a strong immune system. This is because you’re giving your body the nutrients it needs to fight off infection.
- Increases productivity. When you take care of yourself, you’re more likely to be productive at work and school. This is because you’re less likely to be distracted by stress and anxiety.
Practices for compassionate self-care:
There are many different ways to practice compassionate self-care. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Take some time for yourself each day. This could mean reading a book, taking a bath, or spending time in nature.
- Eat healthy foods. Eating a healthy diet can help you feel better both physically and mentally.
- Get regular exercise. Exercise can help to reduce stress, improve mood, and boost energy levels.
- Get enough sleep. Most adults need around 7-8 hours of sleep per night.
- Set boundaries. Learn to say no to things that you don’t want to do. This will help you to protect your time and energy.
- Spend time with loved ones. Social interaction can help to reduce stress and improve mood.
- Do something you love. Make time for activities that you enjoy. This could be anything from playing a musical instrument to spending time in nature.
Operationally defined and introduced to the positive psychology literature by Associate Professor Dr Kristin Neff it is comprised of three separate constructs Selfkindness Common Humanity and Mindfulness Neff 2003a 2003bSelfcompassion is a state of mind or a practice of thinking where you approach how you view your emotional response to events with kindness gentleness and warmth instead of judgment guilt and shame Research indicates that selfcompassion may improve selfregulation and stress How to Practice SelfCompassion 8 LifeChanging Techniques1 Lets destigmatize mental health We need to change the way we look at mental health and make sure every person has access to the caregivers transportation treatment and funds needed to properly address mental health 2 Commit to sharing your
selfcare knowledge We all have daily routines and personal challenges5 The Compassionate Self The compassionate self is a vital sense of self to develop both for your compassion for others and for Yourself Once again begin with your soothing rhythm breathing When your body has slowed down a bit and you feel ready to begin imagine that you are a deeply compassionate personReferences Selfcompassion means showing kindness to Yourself It means accepting Yourself for who you are imperfections and all Selfcompassion does not mean giving up on growth and selfimprovement Instead it39s about understanding that you are a work in progress with strengths and weaknesses and knowing that is okayMay you be healthy in body and mind May you be safe and protected from inner and outer harm May you be free
from fear the fear that keeps you stuck And breathing in and breathing out as we end this practice gently do another mindful checkin Get a sense of how youre feeling now without any judgmentsIt takes time and practice to see and treat Yourself differently Practice providing compassion and kindness toward the challenging part When it shows up notice it with curiosity and openness With selfcompassion we mindfully accept that the moment is painful and embrace ourselves with kindness and care in response remembering that imperfection is part of the shared human experience
Compassionate self-care is an essential part of a healthy lifestyle. It’s about taking care of yourself with kindness and compassion, even when you don’t feel like it. When you practice compassionate self-care, you’re not only taking care of your physical needs, but also your emotional and mental needs. You’re creating a space for yourself to relax, reflect, and heal.