There is no single behaviour that goes without being self-compassionate. Self-compassionate behaviours can fall into three different categories which are:
– Taking care of ourselves
– Taking care of others
– Taking care of business.
To be more self-compassionate you will probably need a mixture of all three categories. The most important thing to remember is that it is about you! It’s about what works for you. Your idea of a self-compassionate act might be someone elses idea of hell and that is absolutely fine! Remember, it is all about you!
Taking care of ourselves.
This is probably obvious considering we are talking about self-compassion but we often forget to be kind and caring towards ourselves. It’s good to experiment with different tasks/activities in order to find what works best for you.
I have so many self-compassionate activities. Sooo many. I have those that are included in my daily routine, those that I do in my free time and those that I do when I am not feeling my best.
I feel like there is a big cliché when it comes to self-compassionate activities such as taking a bath, meditating or going for a walk (all of which I do for the purpose of feeling better) but self-compassionate activities can be anything you want them to be. They are activities that help you feel warm, caring and kind.
Before I started to focus on making improvements in my life, I would usually go up and down with self-care as a whole. Sometimes I’d only do it when I really needed to or if I had a bit of spare time and could be bothered or I would set aside one day a week (usually Sunday) where I would 100% focus on me. I decided this wasn’t enough so I included self-compassionate activities into my routine. Some of these activities are:
– Showers. This is my most important. I average at around 2-3 showers a day. The first thing I do when I arrive home from work is have a body shower. This is usually just a quick shower that allows me to mentally click off from work and wash the day off me. I get into the mindset of ‘I am at home, I am clean and I can spend my time how I want’. This has actually helped me heaps with my mindset. I love my job but once I am out of work, I am, out of work.
– Moisturiser. I moisturise religiously and fuck my skin feels good! Something so simple that offers more than one benefit.
– Falling asleep to music. I usually struggle to sleep all the way through a night. I wake up around 2-3 times and if I don’t fall back asleep quick enough, my brain wakes up and starts my day early. For about 2 months now I have been playing my Yoga&Meditation playlist (Which you can listen to here) whilst asleep and this has actually helped me with falling asleep and falling back asleep in the middle of the night. Meditation benefits us in many ways. When I wake up in the middle of the night the music is softly playing in the back ground (I have to make sure I have it at just the right volume for sleeping purposes), my mind is then able to stay in a sleepy/meditative state making it easier to fall back asleep almost instantly.
– Silence. I aim to have at least 30 minutes of silence a day. This is usually spread out over the day and to be honest I can easily do over 30 minutes but silence is something I enjoy. I am usually more comfortable in silence than talking but I sometimes feel as though I need silence. The silence can be whilst I am at working on my own, in my room, out for a walk, driving or wherever. I have some of the best chats with myself when I am in silence.
Other self-compassionate activities that I enjoy are:
– Star gazing
– Exfoliating my face and body
– Being outside
– Practising slow breathing
– Patting a dog/cat/horse (or any animal to be honest)
– Chilling with Mary Jane (If you know…you know)
– Watching a good TV show or movie
– Being in a candle lit room
– Singing (apologises to the people in my life who deal with this)
The list goes on and on but the activities can literally be as big or small as you want them to be. It is about whatever helps you feel good!
Taking care of others:
In order to take care of others we firstly have to take care of ourselves however, taking care of others is a building step to taking care of ourselves. Taking care of others can be showing gratitude or kindness towards loved ones and strangers. There are a few different ways you can take care of someone:
– Being thankful. This can be anything from saying ‘thank you’ or telling them your appreciation for them to giving them a hug.
– Planning an act such as a surprise dinner or an outing (something that requires you to use your organisation skills).
– Do something caring to cheer them up. Watch their favourite tv show, go for a drive or do something that will help them smile.
– Compliments. The hard one.
– Show kindness. Be kind and let others see.
(It is worth noting that there is a difference between ‘taking care of others’ and surrendering to their demands. Notice when something is asked through kindness or from their greed).
Taking care of business.
Compassion isn’t just about kindness or being caring. Compassion is also strength and courage. Taking care of business means taking care of the problems we face by doing what we can to overcome them (however still understanding that not all circumstances can be overcome. This is why it is important to be more self-compassionate, especially during any difficult times).
Different situations will require different acts of compassion but sometimes if we feel threatened we act the opposite. Learning how to be more self-compassionate can help with this. Instead of running away from a situation, you are able to face the situation with some confidence, reassurance and support from within yourself.
This is the more personal category (and slightly more challenging) of self-compassion but it is the one that I find the most rewarding. It’s the category that works beautifully with improving your mental health.
For me, taking care of business is:
– Facing my anxiety head on
– Writing everything out
– Trying new things
– Acting with confidence
– Being easy on myself
– Accepting any lessons learnt
– Letting shit go
Your taking care of business can be whatever problem you want to overcome. Mine have been mostly related to my mental health. Yours can be the same or it could be your physical health or any goals you have set. It can be as big or small of a business as you want but remember to care for it with compassion.
Be kind to yourself and others,
Sending my love,