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Would You Say That To A Friend? 3 Ways I Have Incorporated Self-Compassion Into My Own Life

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at U Mass Amherst chapter.

The word self-care for the past couple of years has been a buzzword and rightfully so. It is important that we treat ourselves to a hot bubble bath, some ice cream cake, and the coffee we have been craving since we woke up. Too often, we are caught up in caring for others that we forgot to do these things to ourselves! However, self-compassion in addition to self-care is extremely important. Self-compassion needs to be talked about more. Without it, are we really caring for ourselves? 

To me, self-compassion is as simple as being kind to yourself. It is treating yourself like you are your own friend. For example, if your friend recently breaks up with their significant other, what would you do? You would most likely give them a hug, tell them everything will be alright, and so on. What if this happens to you? Would you beat yourself up and tell yourself to get over it? Would you feel guilty for taking things slow? I hope not! For some strange reason, we put higher expectations on ourselves and have a harder time giving ourselves some grace. This is where self-compassion needs to kick in. Here are some tips for incorporating more self-compassion into your life. 

1. Feel your feelings!

It is essential that we validate our own feelings. Sometimes, I find myself feeling a sense of guilt for feeling a certain way. When this happens, I have to take a step back and let myself process my own feelings-good or bad. If this means crying for hours on a Saturday night, I let myself do it! Feeling your own feelings is liberating and will only serve you in the long run. It is not healthy to harbor any negative feelings! In addition to validating our own feelings, there is no such thing as a timeline for your feelings. You will be ready to move on at your own pace, not anyone else’s. Some experiences take longer than others to accept and that is okay! 

3. be your own best friend.

React to yourself in the same way that you would for a friend. If you are having a hard time getting over something in the past, say things to yourself that you would want to hear from a friend. Here are some phrases I like to tell myself. Time heals; so take your own time. I have felt this way before and you are not alone. You will find comfort in saying these phrases to yourself. 

3. Forgive yourself. 

Mistakes and accidents happen. All the time. It is important to learn how to forgive yourself for your mistakes and move on. We cannot change the past and because of this, it does not make any sense to worry about what has happened. All that you can do for yourself is think about what you can choose to do at this very moment. Because of this, we have to learn how to forgive ourselves for mistakes made! 

It is much easier for me to practice self-care than self-compassion. I find myself struggling with this because a part of self-compassion is letting go of perfectionism. Self-compassion is the revelation that we are complex people with complex feelings. Once I was able to accept that I was not perfect and every experience will not be perfect, it was easier for me to be kinder to myself. We are so much more than our mistakes.

The next time you beat yourself up about what you have done in the past, take a pause and ask yourself: would I say this to a friend?

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Niajah Hyppolite

U Mass Amherst '23

Niajah Hyppolite is currently a senior majoring in Sociology with a minor in Political Science. During her free time she enjoys watching comedies and spending time with her loved ones. She loves reading memoirs and always has a caffeinated beverage in her hand at all times. This is her fifth semester with HerCampus and she is very excited to write!