Skills to Build Mindful Self-Compassion Anytime, Anywhere
Just when we thought the pandemic was in the rearview mirror, cases are again surging along with stress over how to cope. Parents sending kids back to school or off to college, workers wondering whether to return to the office, everyone unsure what the future holds — who doesn’t feel worried, frustrated and disappointed?
September is Self-Care Awareness Month, yet many people don’t take the time they should to care for themselves. Maybe they think self-care is frivolous, time-consuming, or even selfish. Or they get so busy fulfilling the demands of making a living and caring for a family that they forget to put their own oxygen mask on first. When turbulence hits, they feel stretched too far and snap.
If you have been feeling stressed out, burned out, or beat up by circumstances in life, it’s time to start practicing mindful self-compassion.
Mindfulness is being able to face and acknowledge our difficult thoughts and feelings with a spirit of openness and curiosity. Self-compassion involves responding to these difficult thoughts and feelings with kindness, sympathy, and understanding so that we soothe and comfort ourselves when we’re hurting. Fortunately, mindful self-compassion is a skill you can practice anytime, anywhere.
Self-care comes in many forms. Some require you to stop what you are doing and take a break, such as taking a break to walk in nature, soaking in a soothing bath, or reading your favorite book at the end of the day. But there’s also another way you can practice self-care that only requires you to pause and evaluate what you need to feel better. I call this the SNAP system: