Self-compassion may be one of those things that some people are born with, but others have to learn on their own!
If you find that you’re not blessed with a wealth of compassion for yourself, it’s a skill you can pick up with time and practice.
Learning to give yourself more compassion and practice more self-care starts with realizing that you’re missing a bit of it in your own life. Taking a hard look at the way you feel and react to the things you encounter is the first step to creating more compassion in your life!
Comfort Your Body
Your body and your mind work together when it comes to creating self-compassion and self-care. Comforting your body and caring for it gives you a foothold where you can continue to build your self-esteem.
Start by feeding your body well! Choose meals that combine healthy foods and good-for-you comfort foods. Balanced meals are important to the way your body and mind interact.
Get up and get moving even when it’s hard! Your body is made to move, and even when you find yourself in a slump, getting moving can help you break up the logjam of thoughts and help your body feel better too.
Don’t forget to take time for self-care! Your body works hard throughout the week, and you need a little pampering! Take a hot bubble bath, do some creating, go for a massage, or get your nails done when you don’t have anything else planned. However, if you indulge in self-care, be sure to make time to comfort your body.
Write a Letter to Yourself
Thoughts can run away with you, but words are more concrete!
Take time to write out a letter to yourself when things are at their lowest. Pour out the way you feel, give yourself some advice, and create a space where you can share encouragement to your future self.
When situations occur where you’re stuck, and you can’t see any way to have compassion, write out that letter and talk about the situation in its entirety. Resist the urge to blame others or yourself for what happened.
Tuck the letter away and let the situation fade away with the letter! Comfort yourself and show yourself some compassion by writing down all the feelings and thoughts that are running through your head.
Give Yourself Some Encouragement
There’s a good chance that you’ve talked a friend or two through a tough situation, just like the one you’re facing! You have all the capacity to give good encouragement, it just needs to be turned in on yourself.
When you’re faced with a tough situation where you run the risk of not showing yourself any compassion, take a moment, take a breath, and turn that encouragement inward. Give yourself the advice you’d normally give your friends and family, and act on it!
It’s easy to get down on yourself and forget to have compassion in moments of stress. Taking a step back from the situation and verbally sharing the encouragement that you’d share with others in the same situation gives you perspective on everything you’re going through!
Mindfulness has big impacts on every area of your life, including on your self-compassion!
Learning to practice mindfulness is a great step toward boosting your compassion and self-care. Just praying or meditating for a few minutes each day can change the way you nurture your mind and learn to accept yourself when things get tough. I love to allow God's Word to speak to me.
1 John 4:16–19 reminds us that we can rely on God's love for us, and whoever lives in love also lives in God. By living in God, love is made complete among us so that we can have confidence. Perfect love drives out fear because fear is associated with punishment, and the one who fears is not made perfect in love. We love because God loved us first.
Set aside plenty of time to pray. Don’t hope that you’ll have time later on or hurriedly do a few minutes here and there; dedicate the time to prayer each day.
As you pray, let your mind and body relax and focus on your rest in the Lord. Take note of areas that hurt and where you feel pain or fear start to sneak its way into your system. It can be hard to recognize the mental pain that leads to a lack of compassion for yourself but let your mind through prayer sort through your feelings and seek out that hurt so you can allow God to heal it!
Prayer and mindfulness requires focus and dedication, but there’s no limit to how you can create compassion within your life when you take the time! There's no substitute for time with the Father.
Creating compassion for your mind and life can take some serious dedication. Even if you don’t feel that you come by that self-compassion naturally, it can be learned and honed to create a better life for yourself!
Struggling with a lack of self-compassion and self-care can leave you in a spot that makes it hard to function. As you create compassion and learn to love yourself more, you’ll find that it’s easier to love others and continue to create a full life for yourself!