Self-Compassion: Avoid Negative Self-Talk & Have Compassion for Yourself
By Dr. Cristi Bundukamara EdD PMHNP — Self-compassion can feel impossible sometimes. If you aren’t managing all of the stress and tasks in your life, it’s easy to blame yourself and feel like you aren’t good enough or you’re a person who “doesn’t have it together”. When those negative feelings start creeping in it is important to ground yourself and stop that negative self-talk.
A key part of self-compassion is to treat yourself with kindness. When your best friend is struggling, you don’t tell them they are an unorganized failure. You offer support them and try to help them find solutions. If you can be compassionate to other people, then you can relearn how to have compassion for yourself. If it seems impossible to reframe your thoughts, then you may have to start with changing your behaviors. The Mentally STRONG Method is a great resource for identifying behaviors that are not helping you, and understanding the negative thoughts that contribute to your lack of self-compassion.
If you are trying to juggle all the endless daily tasks and goals you have, you may end up dropping the ball on a few of them. This doesn’t mean you are a terrible parent, horrible friend, or a bad employee. It just means that you aren’t making the choices you need to make to effectively manage everything you have going on in your life. Before you can make the choices that will positively affect your life, you need to stop being so hard on yourself! Remember, taking care of yourself is an important part of self-compassion.
Self-care is a concept that we talk about a lot in the mental health community, and it is a crucial aspect of self-compassion. However, we don’t all have time to take an hour-long bubble bath with calming music playing. This is why having compassion for yourself sometimes feels impossible. When you have to balance a job, getting the kids ready for school, cleaning the house, and cooking dinner, finding the time to go to a day spa seems impractical. This is why it is important to remember that self-care is more than what we see represented in the media. Self-care can be something as simple as taking a shower today and drinking enough water. It can also be a bigger step like accepting that you should go to therapy. Self-care is not something that looks the same for everyone. Self-care is making sure you are taking care of your needs so that you empower yourself to do what you need to do today.
So, remember, you are capable of finding mental strength through self-compassion, which starts with avoiding negative self-talk, self-care, and having compassion for yourself.