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Self-Compassion in Current Times

As we all continue on this journey of navigating a pandemic, I continue to see people be hard on themselves for not being as productive, energetic, structured, this or that, as they normally are. Of course we aren’t - we are going through unprecedented times, and for many, this means increased uncertainty and stress, and maybe even crisis. It is not an acceptable expectation to place on ourselves right now to be accomplishing the same amount we were a year or even a few months ago. This got me thinking about self-compassion and what it means to be compassionate with ourselves. Why can we have deep compassion for others and be understanding when they may be struggling, including people we don’t even know, but not offer ourselves the same compassion?

Compassion is the state of having sympathy or concern for another’s pain or struggles. When we have compassion for another, we consider how their circumstances are impacting their life and functioning. We may also find ways to offer help and understanding, and we honor that they are doing the best they can (emotionally, physically, etc.) with what they have to give at the time. Why can’t we show ourselves this same compassion, especially in times like we are in now? Self-compassion means offering the same understanding to ourselves when we are in pain or experiencing a difficult time as we would offer to others in similar situations.

Below are a few questions to help you explore how compassionate you are with yourself:

-How much compassion do you offer to yourself?

-Would you show compassion to others for the same things you are being hard on yourself for?

-Would you speak to others the way you speak to yourself?

-What keeps you from showing yourself more compassion?

-What would be different in your life if you showed yourself more compassion?

-What is one way you can show yourself compassion in the near future?

If you would like support in exploring the above questions and expanding your self-compassion, therapy can be a safe place to begin this process. A therapist can help you explore the reasons it may be hard for you to exercise self-compassion and find ways to include self-compassion in your day-to-day life.

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