A recent article from the Harvard Medical School on self-compassion prompted a series of one-on-one conversations with family and friends.
I asked about what they did to care for themselves during times of deep anxiety/stress. It won’t come as a surprise to you that the responses were varied and ranged from physical (running/ walking/eating) to spiritual actions (meditation). What surprised me was some of my friends’ reaction to the notion of self-compassion. For some, it’s not high on the list of things to do. As one of them said to me, “Cora, I solve problems, I don’t have time to contemplate my navel.”
Years ago, I would have reacted the same way. I would have brushed off the notion of taking care of myself as being a priority. Thank goodness, I’m older and I think, wiser now. I see the value of self-care as key to being better able to solve problems or simply accept what I can’t change. The latter is particularly hard as I belong to a generation for whom difficult things can usually be solved by dint of enough effort.
I end this letter with a wish that you will look kindly on self-compassion and practice it as often as necessary. I take my own advice now and am more at ease for doing so.