Tend to Yourself in order to Better Tend to Others
It is true that compassion has the power to increase your happiness and that of others. But there is a caveat. First, you must feel like you are being compassionate to yourself.
However, this doesn’t mean you have to engage in overly self-indulgent activities in order to practice compassion. Here are some ideas for quick and small acts of compassion that you can practice with yourself:
1. Check in with yourself the way you would a friend.
It’s as easy as asking yourself, “Hey, how are you doing? How are you feeling?” While it may seem silly to take a moment and ask yourself those same questions that you ask others, it is an important way to check in. Just remember to answer genuinely, and listen to yourself when you do.
2. Take a walk for no reason at all.
As short as a 20- or 30-minute walk to be with your thoughts, listening to your favorite podcast or the sounds of outside are sometimes enough to make you feel like you have tended to yourself. Perhaps it is the idea that you are consciously making a decision for you, but these small, conscious acts can definitely help you feel more in control.
3. Just say no.
When you feel like you are agreeing to do something because you should do it, not because you want to, take a pause. Before you say “yes”, realize that your body and mind might be telling you that you could use less self-created obligation. Having a little room to breathe can be the best care to give yourself and a great way to feel more in tune.
Remember – Being compassionate and giving to others shouldn’t deplete you. If it does, that’s a crucial indicator to step back and tend to yourself. Just slow down and do one conscious act for yourself every day. It’s pretty simple. You’ve got this!