Our daily lives sometimes limit us in thinking about what’s truly important, often because of the expectations we place on ourselves. On top of that we feel guilty when we want to spend time doing something we enjoy, feeling like we are instead neglecting our responsibilities, like we have none to ourselves. It’s important to remember it's OK to be a priority in your own life, after all we should 'put on our own oxygen mask so we can help others'.
We’re human, stuff happens. Self-compassion is important to our health and our relationships, as well as our wellbeing.
So, what is self compassion?
Self-compassion is extending compassion to ourselves at moments of perceived failure or inadequacy. We can express self-compassion in the form of self-kindness, demonstrations of humanity and simple, yet powerful mindfulness. Being aware and accepting of what we’ve been able to do in one day is important, so too is honouring and celebrating those little wins. Simple actions and events shouldn't be overlooked, altogether they make up a powerful and positive presence in our lives.
It’s no surprise in the 21st century we pack a lot more in one day than our ancestors did. My grandparents used to live off a single income, my grandfather used to go to work and my grandmother stayed at home to raise three children. Life was simpler and needs were basic. Enter the technological revolution and we now expect higher standards of living and in turn run two income households to sustain this while raising our children. Considering this shift, why do we place such high (sometimes unattainable) expectations on ourselves? Then promptly scold ourselves if we don’t meet such unrealistic expectations.
To be able to maintain a comfortable standard of living in today’s world is difficult, and sometimes we forget our daily routine and achievements are quite remarkable. Taking the time to be mindful and kind to ourselves is imperative to our mental health and overall wellbeing. For me, it’s to remind myself it’s okay if I want to spend a little more time reading a book, watching a movie or going for a walk. The same goes for everyone, we are all valued and our needs are important, don't relegate yourself to the bottom of the heap, how can you help others from there?
Words by Georgia Arharidis
Group Fitness Instructor and Nutrition & Health Coach
We all have a role to play in community health, the only question is how do we play this role? Through intelligent, evidence-based inquiry we can understand how to health coach to support others in taking on positive behaviour change.