Raise your hand if you’ve ever been hard on yourself. Now raise your hand if being hard on yourself has ever made you feel better.
Didn’t think so.
The truth is we’re constantly beating ourselves up and only end up feeling worse. Then why the heck do we keep doing it?!
“You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.”- Buddha
I think it all goes back to the fact that we set unrealistic (read: impossible) standards for ourselves.
Being a perfectionist, I’m still learning and choosing every day to be easier on myself through self-compassion. I’m finally realizing that nothing is ever perfect and trying to reach that unrealistic standard is only hurting me.
By practicing self-compassion, we learn to treat ourselves with kindness, understanding, and with the awareness that we are imperfect but still worthy.
So how can you practice self-compassion? Here are 7 ways you can be easier on yourself.
7 Ways to Be Easier On Yourself Through Self-Compassion
1. Only focus on what you can control
There are so many things we can control and so many things we can’t. When we’re in the moment it’s hard to know the difference, but once we start to learn how to distinguish between the two life becomes less stressful.
A few things that we’re in full control over:
- How we act on our feelings
- How we show up and react to situations
- How much time we spend worrying
- How we talk to ourselves and others
- Who you surround yourself with
There’s no sense in worrying about what people think of you, the past or even the long line at the grocery store. Those things are out of your control and worrying about them causes unnecessary frustration and disappointment.
When you find yourself stressing over things that are out of your control, let your shoulders drop, unclench your hands and jaw. Take a deep breathe and feel the tension release from your body. Choose instead to control how you feel about that situation that you have no control over.
Let’s focus our efforts on changing what we can and accepting what we can’t.
2. Celebrate the small wins
Every step you take to get you closer to where you want to be is worth celebrating.
However you choose to celebrate is up to you but do something! Whether you write down your accomplishments at the end of each day or take yourself out to dinner, the important thing is to become aware of the things that you did accomplish instead of beating yourself up for the things you didn’t.
Did you get all the household chores done before 11 a.m.? That’s worth celebrating! Did you go for a walk every day this week? Celebrate your heart out girl.
This helps you to really focus on the good. When you celebrate the small things, you’re acknowledging the effort you’re putting in and boosting your self-esteem.
3. Set boundaries
Are you taking on things that aren’t yours? Are you saying yes to things you hate? Are you repeatedly neglecting your own needs?
As much as you have to set boundaries with other people, you also have to set them with yourself. Make your boundaries about you because boundaries are about honoring your needs, not about worrying about what others are doing.
Take some time to reflect on where you’re spending your time and energy. Get clear on what you’re comfortable with and what you’re uncomfortable with. Figure out what’s important, what you need to let go of, and what you can do instead.
Getting clear on your boundaries allows you to practice self-compassion and self-respect.
4. Limit screen time
Social media is both a blessing and a curse.
Don’t get me wrong, I love connecting with others and seeing what my friends are up to but sometimes it’s just too much.
Too much comparison.
Too much distraction.
Too much them, not enough you.
It’s exhausting and we all need a break now and then.
Limiting screen time is the best way to make sure you’re focusing on yourself and practicing self-compassion by being gentle with yourself.
Some ways to limit screen time:
- Make it a habit to turn off or put away all devices at the same time every night
- Have a digital detox and delete social media apps on your phone for a day
- Put your phone on airplane mode when you’re doing important things like spending time with family
Read this next: 6 Mindsets We Need to Let Go to Make Room For Growth
5. Check your self-talk
Would you talk to your mother, daughter, or best friend the way you talk to yourself?
If the answer is no, then start being more mindful of how you’re speaking to yourself. Your words are powerful and even more when they’re directed towards yourself.
- Read this next: How to Practice Positive Self-Talk to Feel Happy and Confident
If you catch yourself speaking harshly to yourself, don’t beat yourself up over it either. Instead when you catch yourself saying things like “I’m so dumb…” add a buffer on the end like “…is what I used to tell myself.” Recognize it, reframe it and move on.
Being easier on yourself starts with taking the steps to think of yourself in a more positive light.
6. Make time for stress-relief activities
When’s the last time you actually made time for yourself to do things that help you de-stress?
In a world that stresses hustle, we’re so used to doing more and more in order to succeed.
Rest is viewed as a sign of weakness, but really, rest is SO necessary. How can you show up as the best version of yourself if you’re constantly tired and stress-out?
Making time to do things that help you unwind and get back to your happy place is essential in treating yourself with love and compassion.
Read this next: How to Prioritize Self-Care And Make Time For Yourself
7. Reevaluate priorities
Do you have an area of your life that needs a breather?
When I don’t have my priorities straight, I tend to get overwhelmed. I freak about how there’s always so much to do and such little time and end up pushing myself to my limits to the point that I feel even more exhausted and stressed out.
Sometimes it’s okay to take a step back, take a break and refocus in order to come back stronger.
- If you have a big work project due this week, what can you let go of to make sure your stress levels don’t shoot up?
- If you’re in the process of moving, what commitments do you need to rearrange to make your transition more manageable?
- If you’re feeling burnt out from your passion project, what can you do to recharge and get back into focus?
Check in with yourself constantly and stay flexible with your methods. Reminding yourself that you can do anything but not everything is the ultimate act of practicing self-compassion.
Next time you find yourself obsessively pushing yourself, focusing on things you can’t control, being hard on yourself, or beating yourself up for something you did, ask yourself if you would treat someone you love the same way.
Be gentle with yourself, remind yourself that you’re doing the best you can, and keep moving forward.
Now over to you… what are some ways that you practice self-compassion? Let me know in the comments below!