We keep hearing about self-care these days. Most of us would agree that if somebody can look after themselves properly, they are more likely to be in a better position to work well, care for others, and be a useful member of society.
But do you ever really stop to think about how self-care might apply to you?Do you ever really stop to think about how self-care might apply to you? Click To Tweet
First off, are you ‘allowed’ to really care well for yourself? What sort of quality does your ‘inner parent’ have? Loving and kind? Or harsh and critical? (Most likely, a mixture of both).
Now see what it’s like to try holding a loving, accepting, compassionate attitude towards yourself. Just for a few minutes, see if you can get quiet and still, and feel a warm gentle kindness in your chest area, around your heart. What happens?
Perhaps this feels like a relief? Does it make you want to cry? Sing with happiness?
Or does it feel awkward and wrong somehow? Maybe you even start to feel angry or dismissive, or just blank and empty.
Any of these reactions is possible. Accept that this is how it feels, how you feel, today. Maybe it would be different on a different day.
You’ve now got some good information to start from.
If your self-compassion moment felt good, keep practising. Find frequent times when you can reconnect with that loving, accepting, compassionate part of you that can offer yourself care and support. Get really used to feeling it; and then when things in life get really tough, you’ll have this inner well to draw upon.Getting to a place of greater inner warmth and acceptance is possible! #selfcare Click To Tweet
If the self-compassion moment felt bad in some way, then I want you to know that getting to a place of greater inner warmth and acceptance is actually a good thing to aim for (even if it feels weird or wrong at the moment). And it is possible. I suggest that you look for books, videos or online resources on self-compassion (try Kristin Neff). Working with a psychotherapist or counsellor can help you transform things (see my post on the benefits of therapy for more on this).
Self-compassion is an important part of self-care, but it’s not the whole story. I’ve created an infographic (see below) to fill in a few more pieces of the puzzle. Not every aspect of self-care has been included, but I’ve made a start. Enjoy!Try holding a loving, accepting, compassionate attitude towards yourself. Click To Tweet