Three Simple Steps to Self-Compassion

If you’re feeling more Grinch than Santa, more Scrooge than Elf, then you may need a little extra dose of tender loving care.  And guess who is the best person to provide this TLC?  YOU are.

Self-compassion practices are remarkably effective in helping you feel supported and understood.  You come to internalize that YOU have your own back.  You validate your own experience.  Here’s how it works, in 3 easy steps:

  1. Name your suffering
  2. Universalize it
  3. Apply loving kindness

Sounds simple, right?  But how do you actually do it?  Your script might be something like this . . .

  1. I notice that I’m feeling really grumpy this holiday season.  I don’t like the darkness or the cold.  I hate the pressure to spend more than I have and give the perfect gift to my family members.  I feel (fill in the blank): lonely, sad, depressed, stressed, grief-stricken, hopeless, bored, defeated.
  2. I know that I am not the only person to feel this way, not at the holidays and not ever.  There are millions of people around the world who know what this particular experience feels like.  I am not alone.
  3. (Holding your hand over your heart).  I’m going to be ok.  In fact, I am ok.  I can get through this.  May I know some peace.  May I know some happiness.  May I open my heart to myself.  May I rest in serenity and love.

That’s it.  Use this practice every day, several times a day.  And know that this season will pass, just as all the others eventually do.

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2 thoughts on “Three Simple Steps to Self-Compassion

  1. Janna

    Thank you for these words Ashley. My husband passed away a little over two years ago, and I find I am still carrying a very deep sadness…especially at Christmas time. Everyone around me is so busy…and I am not. I have no relatives, my son’s live many miles away and everyone is going to be with their families … I miss my husband so, so much and the aloneness is crippling for me at times.
    I intend to try your practice…and as you said, this season will pass. It will pass.

  2. Ashley Bush

    Hi Janna,
    Thank you for sharing your experience. I am so sorry to hear about your sorrow, your loss, and your sense of isolation. I know that your husband’s love is with you always. Definitely practice self-compassion and know that a new year is dawning. Sending peace, Ashley