How to Use Self Compassion to Get Through Life's Obstacles

After 3 years in clinical practice, I found that my true passion was helping people on a deeper level live a holistic, meaningful, and balanced life. My goal is that my clients feel vibrant, healthy, and connected, both physically and mentally, from the inside out.

I recently got asked about the use of self compassion during times of crisis. I thought I would share my thoughts here. 

My most recent crisis was losing my mother to cancer last October. It opened my eyes to how I can view myself even during difficult times. I have had a pattern of being critical of myself throughout my life and not feeling good enough. It's something that I have worked on but during this hard time I found it coming back to the surface. 

Even after my mom passed away, I was guilt stricken with things I didn't do. "I didn't even walk with her on the beach." "I wasn't present enough with her." " I didn't know we wouldn't have more time together."

All of these thoughts tore me up. I felt like I had failed myself and her.

It takes practice to be able to look at those thoughts, and imagine them like floating clouds across your brain, and see them in gentle awareness.

Remember, progress not perfection. 

You are not your thoughts. Just because you have those words come into your mind, it does not make them the least bit true.

Reframing your thoughts and feelings can be helpful to stop beating yourself up and move into self compassion and more loving thoughts.

Think, "Would I say this to my best friend if she were going through this?" Most often the answer is no. We need to start treating ourselves like we would our most beloved best friend. 

During times of crisis, we are not thinking clearly.  We are often in shock and emotional.

This is why it is important to remember to take it easy on ourselves and heal through the practice of self-compassion. There is no "right" way to be or grieve. Everyone copes in different ways.

But even during great times, focusing on self-love, self-care, and kindness to ourselves is of key importance to our mental health and physical health, as they are deeply interconnected. 

When you're grieving you need extra self-care and self-compassion.

For my own self-compassion efforts, getting outside has been instrumental for healing, whether it is walking my dog or running on trails, these activities have helped me to feel closer to my heart center, allow my feelings, and accept them. Part of self-compassion is letting those feelings come up and honoring them, and then they pass.

Grief often comes in waves, and riding the waves is part of the process.

Meditation has also been a helpful tool in fostering self-compassion and awareness. By calming our thoughts and connecting to something deep within you, it can awaken things that you are passionate about and are drawn to. Imagine surrounding your heart with loving kindness.  These practices can help heal the heart as well.

During self reflection, you may even find yourself and connect to your true purpose. 

All in all, focusing on more self-love, self-care, and compassion is of key importance to our mental health and physical health now and forever. 

In light and love, 

Sarah 

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