Give Yourself a Break: Practicing Self-Compassion

Getting Started

Right now, people all over the world are trying to handle the stress and uncertainty of living in a pandemic. COVID-19 has impacted people's jobs, health, schedules, and plans. If you feel like sometimes you're just trying to get through the day, you're not alone. So don't be too hard on yourself when things don't go quite right. Give yourself a break, and show yourself some kindness and compassion.

  • Celebrate small accomplishments.

    You don't have to achieve big things to feel proud of yourself. Plus, the small things really do add up. So give yourself credit for those too. Maybe you didn't clean your whole home over the weekend like you planned. Give yourself credit for what you did do. If you changed your sheets, that's something. If you did the dishes, that's something too.

  • Count your firsts.

    The first time you do anything can be hard. You can't expect yourself to be a pro at it right away. Right now, most of us are experiencing a whole lot of first times all at once. Do any of these firsts apply to you?

    • First time dealing with remote learning.
    • First time parenting in a pandemic.
    • First time working from home.
    • First time getting help from a food bank.
    • First time getting laid off or being unemployed.
    • First time not seeing family for long periods.

    Make a list of all of your firsts. Add them up. Then give yourself a pat on the back for figuring out how to handle so many of them at once. It's a lot, and you're doing the best you can.

  • Check your self-talk.

    You're not perfect, and neither is anyone else. But would you talk to a good friend the way you talk to yourself? A lot of us are much harder on ourselves than we would be on others. If that's true for you, try shifting your self-talk to be more forgiving. For example, if you're beating yourself up about a mistake you made, take a step back. Try kind and encouraging self-talk instead. You can say, "This is new, and I'm doing my best." Or "I'm caring for my family and I'm doing a good job."

  • Do something just for you.

    Commit to doing something kind for yourself every day. Maybe for you, self-care looks like making time to exercise, do a hobby, or journal. Or maybe it looks like reading a magazine in the garage away from your children for 10 minutes. It doesn't matter what you do, as long as it's something positive.


Current as of: November 11, 2020

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:
Lesley Ryan MD - Family Medicine

Give Yourself a Break: Practicing Self-Compassion