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As we continue to go through challenging times, with ongoing changes to our lives due to the health crisis, it can be a time for us to focus on self-compassion. What is self-compassion? It is a mindful practice of offering to ourselves the same kindness that we would offer to a friend. We may speak to a friend in a more generous manner than we do to ourselves. Our brains, designed for survival, often look for what is wrong, and what must be fixed, and sometimes we focus on our own behavior as what we must examine and improve. It is important to provide ourselves with the love and kindness we would offer to another.

By becoming aware of our self-talk, we can note the statements we make to ourselves, and we can adjust self-talk and be sure to use a supportive tone. Additional practices that can be useful, include self-touch. For example, placing a hand over your heart can be of comfort. One can focus on breathing practices or progressive muscle relaxation, in order to calm one’s system and offer oneself relaxation. For additional practices, please see the work of Tara Brach, PhD and Dr. Kristin Neff, both known for focusing on self-compassion. One can include self-compassion in practices of meditation and self-hypnosis to enhance one’s resilience and happiness.

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