When pandemics bring you home and things are rapidly changing, there are a few practices we can use to help manage ourselves. As homes may have started to feel a bit small, alone time has increased and hanging out with friends has stopped, taking time to become our own best friend can help us through.
Here are a few tips of self-compassion to help you through:
1. Remember you are human and breaks to be with yourself are essential. Try to find a place in your home where you can feel safe to just sit and be with yourself in a calm way.
2. Breathe. Try to feel how much you are filling your lungs and engage full breath.
3. You are a physical being. As you are breathing, feel the bottoms of your feet, your palms (hands) and your posture. Take long and even breaths in and then back out.
4. Ask yourself questions. Curiosity about yourself will keep you open to unexpected outcomes and to a broadened sense of listening. As we may ask ourselves, “why am I feeling stressed or overwhelmed or unmotivated?” Or asking, “what am I feeling?” Our ability to listen to ourselves as we are uncovering the answer will open up kindness, not only towards ourselves, but for others as well.
Here is a short exercise:
Draw yourself. You in a full background.
First clear your mind.
Set a timer for 3 minutes. Sit upright in a chair, eyes closed and back straight. Sit with your feet fully on the ground and your back forward from the chair and your hands gently sitting in your lap.
With eyes closed, focus on your nose so that you can feel your breath moving in and out. Let that be your point of focus. Feel your lungs filling and releasing.
For three minutes let yourself only focus on your breath. When you notice yourself become distracted, just go back to focusing on your breath.
Then with paper and whatever you choose to draw with, close your eyes and ask yourself:
“Who am I right now?”
“What is within?”
And being to draw.
The take away from self-compassion is that it is a practice and it is a strength. The more we connect with ourselves and bring language to our emotions, the easier expression can take flight.
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