Having Empathy for Yourself
We’re only a few months into 2023, and life already seems overwhelming. There’s been financial uncertainty and political strife dominating the news. We’ve seen many deaths between shootings, police brutality, and natural disasters. It’s been difficult, but that’s all the more reason for you to practice empathy for yourself.
When we think about empathy, we often think about having empathy for the people around us or those that are going through hardships. However, if you forget to have empathy for yourself, you’ll eventually burn out and won’t be able to give that love and care to other people.
By understanding how being empathetic to yourself can improve your mental health, you’ll be better prepared to tackle any difficulties associated with fatigue caused by the news and other hardships.
Take Time for Yourself
Often, when we’re trying to show empathy and compassion for those in our lives, we will overextend ourselves in the process. We try to do too much for everyone else and not enough for our health.
One of the most important things you can do to practice self-empathy is to take time for yourself. Hands-on self-help activities can help foster empathy. Put aside time each day to practice mindfulness or meditate.
When cities and suburbs surround us, we often forget the benefits that nature can have on our mental and emotional health. Remember to enjoy the outdoors in your self-empathy practice. Regular nature walks can also help boost your empathy levels and provide much-needed sunlight exposure.
So, take a few minutes out of your week or day to go to your local park or even just hang out in your backyard.
Don’t Forget Food
Food is more than what we eat, it’s how we feed our bodies and, often, our souls. Focus on healthy meals that nourish you, although not to the point that you feel like you can’t give yourself some slack if needed. Eating nutrient-rich meals throughout the day will also keep your energy and mind active.
Be Gentle with Yourself
The most vital thing to remember in showing yourself empathy is to be gentle with yourself. There will be plenty of moments when you’re going too hard on yourself about every little mistake you make. You probably feel like you should be able to take the weight of everyone else’s problems on your shoulders and are frustrated when you can’t.
You don’t have to carry that weight, least of all alone. Being gentle with yourself and showing empathy means knowing when to be easy on yourself and when it’s time to put down that heavy weight. You’re allowed to be vulnerable now and again.
Above all, have empathy for yourself. Cut slack, recognize that it’s normal to feel down during these times, and don't be afraid to take breaks. Self-care is the key to keeping your spirits up! Small steps like these can make a difference in managing mental health.
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