Self-Compassion: A Guide

"That is the best you could do?"

"Your work sounds mediocre." 

"Your skin looks awful."

If I’m feeling extra self-critical, those remarks are just what I tell myself before noon. But the tone of self-degradation and dismissal follows me like a shadow throughout the day. It makes more appearances. If you are too hard on yourself, you know how hard it is to show yourself what you spend your days showing others: compassion. It has taken me a long time to finally come to terms with the fact that I need to give myself more. It’s a self-love journey, so consider me your guide through this. Let’s make this new year’s resolution about making ourselves feel loved. 

2020 was rough. 2021 promises to be just as difficult, so what do you do when deadlines keep approaching, anxiety about a virus keeps increasing and you continue to be too hard on yourself? You explode. The pressure is too much to assign to anyone and if you aren’t kind to yourself along the way, you could forget why you’re going! 

If we are realistic with ourselves, this won’t be when we produce our best work. With thousands of people dying a day, it is impressive that we are getting out of bed and joining Zoom calls as if nothing has changed. Things have changed. They are increasingly demanding for some people as days pass, and in order to produce work that isn’t mentally taxing, we need to give ourselves the mental space and breaks to handle what is happening. 

The next time you go to tell yourself how horrible a job you could’ve done or how much better it could’ve been, congratulate yourself for getting it done in the first place! Life is hard right now, and you’re still going. That is an accomplishment. 

The next time you feel frustrated that you haven’t used this time at home to create or build or workout, think about the fact that you are taking it day by day. It’s okay not to lose weight while in quarantine or pick up a new hobby or even use your extra time to do something productive. Show self-compassion and realize that each day in quarantine is about self-preservation and love. 

It’s a marathon, not a sprint. Slow yourself down.