Parenting Resource

How to be more compassionate with yourself

Feb 15, 2020

Try these six things the next time you notice you are being critical with yourself.

Krakenimages / Shutterstock

When we are compassionate with ourselves, we spend less time caught up in our own emotions. We are more available to be there for others. We feel more peace and are more able to respond with warmth and care towards our children.

Try this the next time you notice you are being critical with yourself.

1) Pause.

2) Take a long breath.

3) Identify the emotion you are feeling - anger, fear, shame, frustration, sadness, etc.

4) Notice one sensation in your body that is helping you recognize this emotion—My chest is tight, I feel nauseous, my hands are tingling.

5) Gently give yourself a gesture of comfort—place your hand on your heart or chest, hold your hands together or give yourself a hug. If you notice your chest is tight, you might, for example, place your hand on your heart. This gesture acknowledges the stress or hurt you are feeling. It also recognizes the intention to show yourself compassion.

6) Finally, give yourself support by saying or thinking an encouraging phrase. Come up one that feels supportive to you.

  • May I care for myself in this moment?
  • I can give myself what I need.
  • I’ve done my best, I let go of the rest.
  • I’m okay just as I am.

  • Author

    Maria Gehl

    Project Director, Mindfulness in Early Childhood