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Mastering the Art of Self-Compassion

By Sandy Schroeder

Most of us are pretty good at showing up for work, paying the bills, and keeping track of all of the other life tasks, but what about self-care?  Are you good at taking care of yourself, or are you more like me? Sometimes I do a good job. Other times, not so much.

Pause for a minute to consider how you treat yourself when you miss a meeting or make an error. If it automatically becomes a big deal, you may need to be a little more forgiving of yourself. You may need to treat yourself more like you would a friend, accepting the absence, or acknowledging the error and then letting it go.

How It All Works

Harvard Health explains how self-compassion can work. When you do a good job of taking care of yourself, everything else comes together better too. Relationships flourish right along with health, well-being and daily successes.

Often there is less anxiety and depression as self-compassionate people are kinder to themselves when they are down. They drop back a little and let the dust settle.

In contrast, people who are less self-compassionate may struggle with more worry, anger or hostility, which can lead to higher blood pressure and more serious health conditions over time.

Here are some good ways to give your self-compassionate skills a boost.

Send a note to yourself - Talk about a current situation and discuss the breakup, job blunder, or financial struggle in a positive way. Avoid blame and encourage rebounding with new people, activities or projects. Be kind and thoughtful about the feelings that are involved.

Soothe yourself - Fix your favorite soup or treat yourself to a new flavor of coffee or selection of dark chocolates. Take a long soak in the tub. Get a haircut or go for a massage. Anything that helps you relax and enjoy the moment will pay off in the long run.

Encourage yourself - Treat yourself like you would a good friend when bad things happen. Review the situation and think about what you would say if a friend were facing the problem. You might talk about other situations that were similar and how they worked out. You might spend as much time as it takes to air the situation and become more realistic about its impact too.

Use your breath to absorb stress - Just removing yourself from the stress of the moment to sit quietly and breathe deeply can be a comfort when you have just been hit with a new dilemma. Taking that time to let your body relax and your mind regroup can reduce its impact and help you gain perspective.

If these tips sound good to you, use them whenever you need them to take better care of yourself.

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Seal Beach, Calif.

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