Contributed by: Tori Volanski
As we near the end of the year it is easy to start thinking about what changes we want to make in 2018. We might want to read more, sleep more, or workout more. When it comes time to make New Years resolutions we often end up comparing ourselves to others, holding ourselves to unrealistically high standards, and participating in negative self-talk to achieve these new goals. In the New Year I challenge you to take one step everyday towards self-compassion.
What is self-compassion?
Self-compassion includes practicing self-kindness, mindfulness, and recognizing common humanity.
Here are some simple ways you can increase your self-compassion everyday as well as using these exercises with any girls in your life! Some of these tips may not be a perfect fit for everyone so as your own best friend you get to pick what you think will work for you. For example, I’m not a morning person; so waking up to watch the sunrise may not be self-compassion for me, but taking a guilt-free 20 min nap in the afternoon may be a better fit.
1. Journal – any notebook will work. Spend some time sitting with your thoughts or even if you only have 5 minutes journaling can be a great way to stay mindful throughout the day (Neff).
- What do I believe I deserve in life? Why?
- 10 things I love about myself
- What do I do for a friend who is feeling down? Do I do these things for myself? If not why not?
- To learn more about journaling visit: http://self-compassion.org/exercise-6-self-compassion-journal/
2. Use a grounding technique – one of my favorite is called ‘5-4-3-2-1’
Our thoughts can contribute to the way we feel. When we are anxious or stressed, our thoughts tend to be overwhelming.
This exercise can help calm your mind by focusing on the present:
- Look around the room and notice 5 different things you can see
- Listen carefully and take note of 4 things you can hear
- Run your hands over 3 things around you and notice how they feel
- Take a few deep breathes in through your nose and notice 2 different smells
- Focus on your mouth and see if there is 1 thing you can taste
3. Find a gratitude partner – anyone you see regularly will work. You should each share something your grateful for that day. This is a great one to practice with a girl in your life! (Fabrega, 2017).
4. Simple ideas you can incorporate into your weekly routine
- Stay hydrated – intentionally drink 8 glasses of water today
- Stretch – spend some time during the day giving your body a break
- Say no to something you don’t want to do – don’t feel guilty
- Wake up and watch the sun rise
- Take a guilt free afternoon nap
- Take a detour on your way home from work and visit a park
- Listen to your favorite music throughout the day
- Do a guided meditation. Visit the link below for an example: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cFeCUfw657g
Neff, K., Dr. (n.d.). Self-Compassion. Retrieved October 24, 2017, from http://self-compassion.org/
Fabrega, M. (2017, April 11). 22 Gratitude Exercises That Will Change Your Life. Retrieved October 24, 2017, from http://daringtolivefully.com/gratitude-exercises