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Exercise: Self-Compassion Break

You might notice yourself caught in a difficult line of thinking, ruminating or worrying. When this happens, use this simple practice as a moment to practice presence and self-care.

Acknowledge to yourself:

1. This is a moment of difficulty

Simple mindfulness. Nothing to change to start. Just noticing and meeting yourself in this difficult moment. You might simply acknowledge; this is painful, this is stress, anger, sadness, whatever arises. Notice where the stress or emotional discomfort shows up in your body. Is there tension in the face, jaw, shoulders, chest, stomach? Just notice and try to bring a sense of curiosity of where it shows up in the body.

2. Recognizing your humanity.

Difficulty is a part of life. We don't have to hang on or push away the good, the bad, the ugly. Just recognizing that difficulty is sometimes just the nature of our human condition. That we all have highs and lows and you are not alone.

Now, as a gesture of self-care, you can put a hand (or both) over your heart, feel the warmth of your hands and the gentle touch of your hands on your chest. Imagine you're touching the heart of a vulnerable human being or loved one deserving of care and compassion....(you are).

3. May I be kind to myself

You may want to silently repeat to yourself; May I be at ease. Or, May I be patient. May I be strong. Find a phrase that speaks to you in your particular situation.

Finish with a slow deep breath and notice what you might be able to relax in your body; shoulders, muscles in the face, jaw, abdominal area. Sometimes making a conscious effort to relax a little more in the body can help bring a feeling of ease to the emotional difficulty and any ease you can bring to the body during a difficult time is an act of self-care.

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