Happy Valentines Day! This holiday is meant to celebrate those we love, but with that in mind, I really think it would do us all good to show ourselves some love as well, because we can only love others the right way if we are in a good place on our own.
Some ways that I’ve found helpful in practicing self love are through various self care, including exercise and meditation. However, self compassion is equally as important, but something I really didn’t know much about until last year while beginning my own mental health journey.
How we talk to ourselves and treat ourselves matters. Being compassionate to others is important, but it’s also crucial to treat yourself the same way. When you’re upset, does your inner voice sound like one you’d use with a good friend or loved one who is going through a hard time? Or are you harsh, critical and negative about life? This happens sometimes and is obviously normal in moderation, but breaking an excessive pattern of it can be really helpful to your overall wellbeing in the long run.
A good place to start, and where I learned a lot about myself, is with Dr. Kristin Neff’s Self Compassion Quiz, which can open your eyes more to where you stand with this. Sit down in a comfy chair with your favorite cup of tea and a cozy blanket, and answer a few questions to learn more about how you score in the realm of self compassion, then explore how to make changes as needed. It really helped me adjust some of my habits and thought processes when I saw my scores and realized how much my outlook was impacting my everyday life.
Note: I have no psychology experience/training and am only sharing what worked for me. I learned about self compassion through therapy as well as my own research. I really hope this helps someone else to find more joy and contentment in life. 🙂