What’s Self-Compassion and How To Shower Yourself With It
Working homeschool mom, you need to shower yourself with self-compassion. Because what you’re doing is hard! And it takes a lot to juggle all the things. So let’s dive into what self-compassion is and how to practise it in your daily life.
What is Self-Compassion?
I think we all know what compassion looks like. And most of us are more than happy to show empathy, understanding, kindness and love to others. But it’s more difficult to turn these feelings inward. Self-compassion is much harder to practise, but research says that it’s very important for our well-being.
The research of Dr. Kristin Neff and others strongly suggests that people who are more self-compassionate lead healthier, more productive lives than those who are self-critical. And the feelings of security and self-worth provided by self-compassion are highly stable. Self-compassion steps in precisely when we fall down, allowing us to get up and try again.SELF-COMPASSION.ORG
GoodTherapy.org summarizes what Dr. Neff defines as self-compassion:
- Being kind to yourself – Replacing criticism with kind behaviour.
- Recognizing that you’re human – Nobody’s perfect, and that’s ok.
- Mindfulness – Facing all your feelings with objectivity.
It’s definitely much easier to realize that we need to be nice to ourselves than to actually do it! It might make us feel self-indulgent, weak, embarrassed or even guilty. We may have been brought up to believe that we must give but never receive.
But I’m sure that you’ve experienced what it feels like to beat yourself up constantly when you ‘fail’. Does it feel good? I’m sure it doesn’t! Do you have the confidence to try again. I’m guessing not. Can you achieve anything when in this state. Not likely!
So let’s look at ways to practise self-compassion in your life as a mom who works and homeschools at the same time.
Being Kind to Yourself
We all know that we need to be kind. But it’s often easier said that done! And when we try to turn that kindness inside, it feels almost impossible! So what does it actually mean to be kind to yourself?
- You can start by shutting off that negative voice in your head. Negative self-talk can be really detrimental to your mental health. Imagine someone constantly telling you you’re stupid or pathetic or incapable. That’s abuse! Switching it to a positive voice, does take practice. But it can become a habit with consistency.
- It’s also really important to prioritize self care. Even though it can be really tough for us working homeschool moms! But nothing is kinder that making sure someone’s needs and desires are met. And this MUST include you – as the first priority. This means:
- taking time to do things that light you up,
- making sure your sleep enough, eat well and get enough exercise,
- doing what is needed for your physical and mental health too.
You’re Only Human!
Accepting our flaws and imperfections isn’t always easy. We live in world where we’re bombarded by images of ‘perfection’ and you have to be super-human to not be affected! But it’s another important part of how to show ourselves self-compassion. There are some practical things you can do to overcome this and to be immune to comparisonitis.
- Unfollow people who make you feel bad about yourself. It’s the easiest way to stop playing the comparison game.
- When you make a mistake, forgive yourself! You do this for the people in your life – so now do it for yourself. You could go even further and see what you can learn from this error. Having a growth mindset is a great way to turn missteps into something positive.
- Surround yourself with supporters and cheerleaders. If you don’t fully believe in yourself, then let others build you up until you can do it for yourself.
- Reframing the mistake can help you to see it from a different perspective. Is the failure entirely negative or can you learn something from it? Was it actually a failure or are you being unnecessarily harsh with yourself?
Mindfulness and Self-Compassion Go Hand in Hand
When you’re mindful, it’s much easier to see a situation clearly. Mindfulness brings you into the moment, so that you can see something without the baggage of the past, present or future. And this is another important aspect of self-compassion.
There are lots of practical things you can do to include mindfulness in your day:
- You can journal your feelings. This is a great way to get them out of the feedback loop in your head and onto paper. Once you can read them, you’ll be able to be more clear about what you’re feeling and why. And then you can reframe them or dismiss them.
- GoodTherapy.org suggests writing a kind letter to yourself. This will mean you have to slow down and think about what you need and what your positive attributes are – not to mention using positive language towards yourself.
- Meditation is also really effective for being more mindful. And it’s good practice to allow all your feelings and emotions to flow without judging. It will once again help you to see them more clearly and objectively.
I hope that this post will help you to take all that compassion you have for your kids and family and friends and the world, and shine it onto yourself. At the end of the day, no matter how much you want to deny it, you are an incredibly important person in your own life – the most important in fact. And you deserve to be treated with love, kindness and compassion.