This week is Mental Health Awareness Week and this year’s theme is kindness.
When most of us think about kindness, we think about all the ways that we can be kind to others. However, being kind to ourselves is very important too. Showing ourselves kindness is known as self-compassion. Self-compassion not only helps us to be kinder to others, it also benefits our physical and mental health.
The three key ingredients of self-compassion are:
1. Mindfulness – Being aware that we are having a hard time without over-reacting or judging ourselves.
2. Connection to others – When we find things challenging, understanding that we are not alone! Everybody has difficult times.
3. Self-kindness – Being kind, loving and patient toward ourselves when we are having a hard time instead of getting upset at ourselves or being critical.
This poster gives some examples of some common situations where we might not be very kind to ourselves and gives ideas of how we could show more self-compassion.
Why not start building your own self-compassion toolkit by adding some more examples of situations you might experience, and thinking of ways you could be kinder to yourself when these situations arise. Finally, why not try this short self-compassion meditation and movement activity created by the fabulous GoNoodle: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CEk9KvPXKEQ