Help yourself first.
“If your compassion does not include yourself,
it is incomplete.”
~ Jack Kornfield
Self compassion equals best self – better health, greater mental wellbeing, satisfaction with life, stronger relationships, and a sense of wholeness.
Cultivating self compassion is definitely a practice; listening to how you talk to yourself, noticing how much (or how little) time you dedicate to you, watching how you take care of yourself with time, diet & sleep.
Turns out self care takes balls, discipline & organisation! Who knew. When your workday is 6am to 9pm how do you fit it all in... you probably don’t. Unless you reframe, reorganise & trim the fat on what’s truly important.
Self care for me means prioritising time. I have learned that if I don’t schedule actual time and highlight it in my calendar it just won’t happen. Often I feel guilty for taking time out to go to yoga, walk the beach or (my new favourite) an infrared sauna. When I do escape the grind I rarely tell anyone what I’m doing, or where I’m going for fear of being judged... I’m in the business of wellbeing yet I’m reluctant to tell people about my own
self care regime. WTF?
Apparently I’m not alone. Pioneering self-compassion researcher, author, and Professor Dr. Kristin Neff says; “I found in my research that the biggest reason people aren’t more self-compassionate is that they are afraid they’ll become self-indulgent. They believe self-criticism is what keeps them in line. Most people have gotten it wrong, because our culture says being hard on yourself is the way to be.”
The truth is, we can’t possibly look after those we love without first looking after ourselves. It's just like what they say during the airplane safety demonstration; put on your own oxygen mask before assisting others.