Importance and guidance on the practice of self-compassion.

10/24/20232 min read

The holidays can be a difficult time for people. Not everyone has had positive experiences with the holidays, and the pressure that comes along with this time of year can be intense. We can find ourselves comparing our experiences or feelings with those of others. It may be a time of year when having compassion for oneself is most needed, but may be in scarcity. This season seems as good a time as any to visit or re-visit what self-compassion is, and how we may cultivate that within ourselves.

Self-compassion is a vital aspect of our emotional well-being. It involves treating ourselves with kindness, understanding, and acceptance, just as we would treat a loved one who is suffering. When we practice self-compassion, we cultivate a positive and supportive relationship with ourselves, which can lead to improved mental health and increased resilience in the face of challenges. It allows us to acknowledge and validate our own emotions and experiences without judgment or self-criticism. By practicing self-compassion, we can break free from the cycle of self-doubt and negative self-talk, and instead, foster self-worth and self-acceptance.

There are several ways in which we can cultivate self-compassion. Firstly, it is important to develop self-awareness and recognize when we are being self-critical or harsh towards ourselves. Once we become aware of our self-critical thoughts, we can challenge them with kindness and understanding. Additionally, practicing self-care is crucial in promoting self-compassion. Engaging in activities that nourish our physical, emotional, and mental well-being, such as exercise, meditation, or spending time with loved ones, can help us show ourselves the same care and compassion we would show to others. Finally, seeking support from trusted friends, family, or professionals can also be beneficial in developing self-compassion, as they can offer perspective, empathy, and guidance along our journey of self-acceptance. We may consider ways we would treat a friend and how we may talk to a friend who is experiencing struggles. We often have no problem offering words of kindness to a friend, and we can apply this to ourselves as well when we face difficult situations or emotions.

Self-compassion is not only important for our overall well-being, but it is also a skill that can be cultivated through practice. By treating ourselves with kindness, understanding, and acceptance, we can break free from self-judgment and criticism, and instead, foster self-worth and resilience. Through self-awareness, self-care, and seeking support, we can develop self-compassion and cultivate a positive and nurturing relationship with ourselves. So let us remember to be gentle and compassionate towards ourselves in times of struggle, for it is in these moments that self-compassion becomes crucial for our growth and happiness. Krisin Neff has some great self-compassion resources, including practices and meditations on her site at