Self-Love and Compassion

This period of “staying home” has stretched from weeks to months, and many of us find ourselves in a world we barely recognize. The people we love are afraid or discouraged or angry or frustrated because their plans have been put “on hold” while we all try to navigate life in a quickly shifting world. That world has changed in ways most of us could not have imagined and we know that the future — next month, next season, next year –- will be very different from anything we have known.

We find ourselves talking to friends or family members who feel “trapped” at home, whether they live alone or with others, working from a space that was once devoted to eating meals, or sleeping, or watching a favorite movie. Our kitchens and bedrooms and dens have become our offices and our classrooms. We prepare food, we settle family squabbles (in person or via video conferences), we do laundry, we join video meetings/parties/graduations, and mostly we pour out compassion as we encourage loved ones who appear to be struggling. Self-care and self-compassion are not even on the “back burner.” They are off the menu entirely.

And so, I write today to remind you that…
… YOU deserve your compassion, your patience, and your kindness.
… YOU deserve a heaping portion of the love you are pouring out to others.
… YOU deserve to be a priority now.
… YOU deserve time for self-care.

How? “How” you may be whispering (or screaming) as you read this. “How can I possibly do this?” The truth is, I do not know, because self-compassion and self-care look different for each of us. Over the past few months many of us have forgotten what these words mean, but we need to remember. We need to remember that caring for others at the expense of caring for ourselves is a short-term strategy that almost always ends badly for us and for those we love.

I urge all of us to take even a few moments today to decide what we need and how we can lovingly care for ourselves today. One thing. Let’s choose one thing and do that. And then another. And then another.

Let’s remember today and always that not only is self-care important to us – it sets a great example for others and reminds them that we all deserve our own love and compassion.

~
Photo Credit: © Vetre Antanaviciute-meskauskiene | Dreamstime.com

6 thoughts on “Self-Love and Compassion”

  1. I agree. Now is the time to be super kind to oneself, to practice self-love, to be aware of our needs, and to take time to simply BE.

    Great reminder. Thank you, Sharon!

  2. I WANT YOU TO CONSIDER,
    -WAKING UP AND TAKING A WALK.
    IF YOU HAVE CHILDREN, PUT THEM IN A WAGON OR GET A THREE WHEEL BIKE, WITH A BASKET OR SPACE FOR PASSENGER. LET THE OLDER ONES, WALK ON THEIR OWN.
    WALK FOR AT LEAST AN HOUR.
    GET SOME FRESH AIR, SPACE TO FEEL FREE. NO CELL PHONE.
    -LET EVERY PERSON IN THE HOUSE, BE RESPONSIBLE FOR COOKING A MEAL, GROCERY SHOPPING FOR THE MEAL. OR HAVE INGREDIENTS DELIVERED AND COOK AS A TEAM.
    -ONCE A WEEK, HAVE A PLAY DATE, WITH SOMEONE OR SOMETHING.
    -I LIVE IN CALIFORNIA. AT LEAST ONCE A WEEK, TAKE A FIELD TRIP. LET EACH PERSON, THAT GOES, PICK THE SPOT. NO BITCHING OR WHINING, FROM THOSE THAT WILL PICK THE SPOT, WHEN IT IS THEIR TURN.
    -LIVE IN THE MOMENT. STOP WORRYING ABOUT WHAT YOU DID NOT GET TO DO.
    ANY PLACE YOU ARE, IS YOUR SPACE. WHEN YOU WAKE UP, IS THE TIME TO DO WHAT EVER, YOU ARE PUTTING OFF.
    – GO WITH THE FLOW.
    -CREATE YOUR ENERGY.
    – CHANGE YOUR ATTITUDE. I USE TO HOMESCHOOL AND WE HAD A DEAL, ONE DAY OF THE 5 SCHOOL/WEEK, WAS HIS DAY. IF YOU HAVE MORE THAN ONE CHILD, LET EACH ONE, BE THE TEACHER, THAT DAY AND THE DAY IS THEIR DAY, TO HAVE CONTROL. WE ALL CAN LEARN, FROM EVERYONE!
    -I USE TO TELL HIM, YOU CAN HAVE A BAD DAY, JUST TELL ME AND WE CAN DO SOMETHING ELSE. BUT, YOU DO NOT HAVE THE RIGHT, TO MAKE ME SAD, BECAUSE YOU ARE HAVING A BAD DAY. IF YOU DO NOT WANT ME TO COMPLAIN, WHEN WE ARE DOING SOMETHING YOU, ENJOY, DO NOT JUDGE OR COMPLAIN, WHEN I AM HAVING MY DAY.
    -IF YOU HAVE PETS, GIVE THE ANIMAL SOME SPECIAL LOVE AND KINDNESS.
    -IF YOU HAVE A YARD, PITCH A TENT. SLEEP OUTSIDE, WATCH THE FULL MOON. WATCH THE LIGHTING BUGS.
    -MAKE A FIRE PIT AND TELL STORIES
    -CREATE YOUR SPACE
    -SHOW A MOVIE IN YOUR YARD
    -START AN ART PROJECT
    -BUILD SOMETHING
    -START A GARDEN, VEGETABLES OR HERBS
    -PLANT SOME TREES, TO ATTRACT BIRDS. PUT UP A BIRD FEEDER
    -PLANT FLOWERS FOR BIRDS, HUMMINGBIRDS, BUTTERFLIES AND INSECTS
    -PUT A BASKETBALL HOP IN YOUR YARD
    -GO PLAY BASEBALL WITH YOUR FAMILY
    -PLAY TAG FOOTBALL
    -DO EACH OTHERS HAIR AND MAKE UP
    HAVE DRESS UP DAY
    -EVERY DAY, IS THE DAY, TO TRY TO ENJOY YOURSELF
    -EXERCISE AND HEALTHY EATING, GIVES YOUR BODY IMMUNE SYSTEM AN OPPORTUNITY TO GET YOU IN SHAPE TO COPE, WITH YOUR SITUATION.
    -LEARN HOW TO DO A SKILL YOU ALWAYS WANTED AN OPPORTUNITY TO TRY
    -FIND A CHARITY YOUR FAMILY CAN CONTRIBUTE AND REALIZE HOW MUCH BETTER, YOUR LIFE IS.
    -ONCE A WEEK, COUNT YOUR BLESSINGS

  3. An important reminder that now, more than ever, is the time to give ourselves a break, whatever that may look like. A friend once gave me permission to wear my pajamas all day and during this COVID-19 crisis, I have given myself permission to get the mail in my pajamas too.

  4. This is so important to do, and you know what I found? That seeing it in writing ihelps with guilt and let’s us give ourselves permission to do something nice for ourselves. Sooo, I went to Target and bought a sunny yellow nail polish, poured a glass of wine and did my nails. Thank you for bringing me to my attention! I miss you! Hugs!

  5. This is so important during this time. It took me about 2 1/2 months before I put my foot down and decided to stop doing everything for everyone else in the house that now includes my recent college graduate son and sporadically includes my daughter. So, I now make the rules on when dinner is going to occur, who’s going to make it and who’s going to clean it up. If no one is willing to cook, on the days when I’m too busy or just too dang tired, they will just have to go figure it out. I clean when I feel things are too dirty and if their bathrooms/rooms are really messy I tell them to do it and if they don’t, so be it, they’ll just stay messy. I am reading a lot more, taking lots of long, solo walks when it’s not too hot, spending lots of time in the pool during this very hot summer we’re having in NJ. I started a new stretching exercise routine which is very helpful during this time when we’re all so cooped up and our bodies get so out of wack with being online so often. I am putting my own needs first, which is not normal for me, but necessary during this crazy time. I miss you…HUGS! xo

  6. Oh how I love the idea of seeing others do it and how it motivates us. I will try to also set an example — sometimes it is easier to do if you know it will help someone else (that alone speaks volumes!). Thank you, thank you for every ounce of your loving-kindness that keeps us all reminded of the power of compassion — with that awareness, we can remember again and again to be compassionate to ourselves <3 this post is a blessing <3

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