Updated: Aug 10
Recently I've talked about five ways to demonstrate self-compassion and ways you could start to practice these. I mentioned:
I’m focusing on each of these over five posts to give a little more detail about what it is and ways to introduce the practice. This one is joy.
This can be tough one. As adults or ‘grown ups’ we don’t really prioritise ‘joy’. Even knowing what we do for fun can be tricky because we leave that to the kids. We label ourselves as ‘serious’, ‘professional’, ‘responsible’ rather than lighter terms such as ‘joyful’, ‘fun’, ‘playful’. But we can be all of those things.
If you find yourself regularly at the bottom of your priority list, the chances are you do very little of the things that bring you joy. When we practice self-compassion we allow ourselves to do more of the things that lift us up with a lightness.
This act of kindness towards yourself builds your resilience - it tops up your self-care cup so that you have the renewed energy to be there for others, to work hard and to continually improve.
When you fail to recognise the importance of doing things just for you, you become worn down. In addition, if it’s been a while since you’ve done something just for you, it may be hard to recall what that may look like.
‘What do you do for fun?’ - I know I find that quite a tricky question to answer because I’ve become so fixed with my idea of fun.
To help you remember, take some time to create a list. Ask yourself ‘What do I love to do, just for me?’. It can be anything - big or small, but try to focus on things that help you feel like YOU, give you a sense of contentment, happiness or freedom.
Think of times when you have felt at your best, or at ease. When do you truly feel like you? In those times, what is it that fills your heart with joy?
To help, you can scroll through photos, look through memories, or visualise some things you’ve tried in the past.
Look at the list. What do you notice? Is there something there you would like to do soon?
Taking the time to nourish yourself with joy is like a gift to yourself. Do it for you, and only you.
The original post Five ways to demonstrate self-compassion outlines all five ways to introduce you to living with more compassion. You may also find the following posts of interest:
To really connect with your well-being and learn to prioritise your self-care, I offer a 'Back to well-being' programme to help you go back to basics, here.
Gemma Brown is an associate certified coach with the International Coach Federation, working with people to navigate successfully through transitions - be it career, relationships or life in general. Her belief is that when we confidently bring our whole selves to all areas of life, anything is possible. Transitions exist in both our personal and business life, and so often, the two fiercely overlap. Coaching with Gemma focuses on you as a whole, enabling you to identify your strengths, build confidence and to live a life with increased purpose and direction. Gemma is based in Cambridgeshire and carries out face to face coaching in the area as well as 1-2-1 coaching via Skype and Zoom. For more about Gemma, visit her 'About' page or contact her directly.