Julia Powell, mindfulness teacher and Business Manager at the Sussex Mindfulness Centre, shares some tips to practice self-love and compassion this Valentine’s day.
Why not shower yourself with love this Valentine’s Day? If you struggle with the concept of being kind to yourself, consider these questions.
When you’ve made a mistake do you find that you turn on yourself?
Do you reprimand and blame yourself perhaps muttering sentiments such as ‘I’m no good at this’ or ‘I’m out of my depth’?
So now apart from the actual problem, you have added another layer of distress by being unkind to yourself. We often don’t notice when we are attacking ourselves, as it happens so automatically. Nevertheless, the relentless self-criticism does make us feel even worse.
Now consider this scenario. Your close friend tells you they made the very same gaffe and they’re feeling bad about it. What do you do? You probably show understanding and love, and perhaps you reassure them.
Funny that. So, we generally treat other people with much more compassion than we do ourselves.
So, this Valentine’s Day why not give self-compassion a go and learn to be kinder to yourself. Self-compassion is not to be confused with self-pity, self-esteem or being selfish.
When we learn to love, understand and have true compassion for ourselves, then we can truly love and understand another personBuddhist monk, Thich Naht Hahn
Even if it feels odd at first, we can develop a healthy habit of being kind to ourselves and that’s good for our wellbeing. Here’s some ways to try out self-compassion:
- Next time you’re feeling blue, treat yourself the way you’d treat a friend. Actually think how you would support them and what you would say. And see if you can bring the same care to yourself.
- Read and follow the practices in the Mindful Self Compassion Workbook by Kristin Neff and Chris Germer, pioneers of self-compassion.
- Secure a place for yourself on the “Self-Compassion and burnout” workshop led by the two authors (above), in Brighton on 24 September 2024. Check out this page for more details and to book.
Like many others, you may discover that self-compassion opens you up to deeper, warmer connections with others.
You can always find compassion events on our website, like an upcoming talk from Matthieu Ricard, the man dubbed the happiest person in the world. Many thanks to Brighton and Hove Independent, for allowing us to repost this article.