For most people experiencing separation, it is an emotional roller coaster full of ups and downs. Through experiencing heart break, it is important during this time you treat yourself with kindness. With self-compassion, we give ourselves the same kindness and care that we would give a good friend. By practising self-compassion during the hard times, you can help build a strong emotional resilient self.
Self-compassion involves acting the same way towards yourself when you are experiencing a difficult time, feeling like you have failed or noticing something that you don’t like about yourself. Instead of ignoring your pain, you stop to tell yourself “This is really difficult right now, how can I comfort and care for myself in this moment?”
There are 3 stages of self-compassion, which are;
When we are caught in negative self-talk we can often get swept away in our own negative story line. This story is often repeated in our head over and over again. For example, “You don’t know what you are doing” or “Nobody likes you”. These unhelpful thinking styles are giving in to your inner self critic. When you notice your inner self critic chiming in, you can use self-compassion to silence those unhelpful negative thoughts.
- Common humanity
Through self-compassion, we acknowledge that everyone experiences pain. We mindfully accept that the moment is painful and embrace ourselves with kindness and care in response, remembering that imperfection is part of the shared experience. By acknowledging that everyone experiences pain, we allow to hold ourselves in love and connection, giving ourselves the support and comfort needed to bear the pain, while providing the optimal conditions for growth and transformation.
Self-kindness refers to the tendency to be caring and understanding towards yourself rather than being harshly critical. Instead of attacking or berating yourself for personal shortcomings or when life circumstances are stressful, instead of immediately trying to control or fix the problem, a self-compassionate response might be to pause to self soothe or comfort yourself. Using kindness shows self-understanding and not self-punishment.
Some ways you can practice self-compassion are;
Write a letter to yourself
Describe a situation that has made you feel pain. Write a letter to yourself using words that you would say to a friend.
Keep a self-compassion journal
Keeping a daily journal where you process the difficult events of your day through the lens of self-compassion, can enhance both mental and physical wellbeing. By keeping a journal, it will help make self-kindness and common humanity part of your daily life.
Take a self-compassion break
When you notice that you’re under stress, take a 5-minute self-compassion break. During this meditation, see if you can find the stress in your body and say to yourself;
- This is a moment of suffering (that’s mindfulness)
- Other people feel this way (that’s common humanity)
Put your hand over your heart or wherever it feels comforting and feel the gentle touch of your hand and say to yourself
- May I be kind to myself.
There are many guided self compassion breaks available online.
We all face struggles big and small, internal and external. Self-compassion allows us to face these obstacles with a sense that we are on our own team, but we are not alone, as we are part of a bigger team. With self-compassion, we can learn to tune out our inner self critic and establish a healthy, strong, resilient self.
If you are going through a separation and want to find a more respectful way to resolve your family law matters, you may be interested in collaborative family law. Our lawyer, Megan Piccardi, is a collaborative trained family lawyer. Megan is passionate about helping couples who are separating, have a healthy divorce by adopting a collaborative approach and keeping families out of the court system. To arrange a consultation with Megan, contact our office here or make an online booking through her calendar here.
“A moment of self-compassion can change your entire day. A string of such moments can change the course of your life” – Christopher Germer.