A note on self-compassion

The holidays and the end of the year can be a little complicated.   There can be lots of joy and wonderful things, like traditions and time with family and friends.  It can also be an emotional time, one that includes some sadness, heartache, stress and maybe even guilt. 

There are a mix of emotions, and I think that is okay.  Sometimes it is just about how we manage those emotions.  Or it can be a great time to just start with some self-compassion.  Self-compassion, is “how we handle and treat ourselves after/during a perceived inadequacy, failure or in the face of general suffering.”  

Intuitive eating is a process, that often turns to the concept of self-compassion to help you heal your relationship with food and your body.  It is a theme woven throughout the process and can be challenging, but rewarding.  It is the idea that we can acknowledge what happens in life and not have judgement around it, but rather have compassion.  

If you think about it, it is really just an act of kindness towards yourself.  Which can be hard, no matter the time of year.  Every effort to talk to yourself with more kindness is an opportunity for growth.  Practicing reframing negative thoughts, or the actual things you say about yourself, is a great exercise to start with.  

For example:  

Negative thought: “I am a failure, I ate that whole bag of cookies, I am not doing this right.” 

Reframe:  “I ate more than was comfortable for my body, it tasted good, but I can have cookies whenever I want, so next time I will try to check-in to make sure I feel better afterwards.” 

This exercise can be really helpful, harnessing a more neutral voice.  You can also think about it as your nurturing voice.  When you have the same negative thought, think about what you would tell your small child or a loved one if they said those words to you.  You might use more kindness. Now practice using those more nurturing words with yourself.  Just some examples to get you started.  I understand that this time of year may not be the best time to work on these points, but even just thinking about having more self-compassion is a step in the right direction.

Plus, these tools or ideas can help make positive changes feel more doable and also can help us all enjoy the moment more.  It can maybe lead to a little less stress and guilt.  A form of self-care. 

As we look toward a new year, maybe we can resolve to put ourselves higher on our to-do list.  We can experiment with more kindness towards ourselves. Start with what feels doable.  Ask for support from your loved ones and let’s make this coming year one were we focus on compassion.  

As always, thank you so much for reading and I hope this gives you some food for thought.  See you for some yummy eats on Sunday! 

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