No holidays for a while? How about a self-compassion break?

You may not be able to get away at present, with holidays a few months away.

But while waiting, you could give yourself a ‘self-compassion break’.

It’s something you can do any time you start to feel overwhelmed by pain or stress. It has three simple steps.

Step One: Be Mindful:

Without judgment or over-thinking, notice what you’re feeling. Say, ‘This is a moment of suffering’ or ‘This hurts’ or ‘This is stress.’

It’s good to name it.

Step Two: Remember you’re not alone

Everyone experiences deep and wounding human emotions; this is normal. It’s being human. So don’t feel isolated; reach out to others. Say to yourself, ‘Suffering is a part of all of our lives’ or ‘We all struggle at some point in our lives.’

Step Three: Be kind to yourself

Put your hands on your heart and say something like ‘May I give myself compassion in this moment’ or ‘May I accept myself as I am’ or ‘May I be patient.’

If this seems difficult, think how you’d treat a friend in a similar situation. What tone would you use? Would you be kinder to them than yourself?

Often, this comparison reveals some surprising differences and leads to valuable reflections:

Why am I so harsh on myself? And how would things be if I weren’t?