Activity — Getting in touch with and meeting one’s needs:
Think of a need you have that you have been ignoring. This can be de-stressing, being creative, socializing… anything you feel you need more of to keep a healthy balance, but have been neglecting.
I invite you to write down 5 ways you may be able to satisfy this need throughout the week. This can be difficult; you may only be able to come up with one or two, and that is perfectly fine. See if you can plan some or all of these ideas throughout the next week.
This is so that you remember that this need *is* important, important enough to devote time and effort to. You are important.
Self compassion can exist in multiple forms — we all have times when we’re hard on ourselves. Maybe we wish we performed better during a test, interview, etc., or perhaps we don’t think we should feel angry, sad, or another way. In these cases, a little bit of self compassion in the form of forgiveness or acknowledging it is human and OK to have a variety of emotions, can ease a good deal of stress and negativity. This clears the way for something healthier.
Another situation we might find ourselves in is the following: we can be so caught up in something, that we ignore our needs. One can be caught up in doing well (e.g. in school), being what we think we’re “supposed” to be (e.g. a good student, a friendly person, a perfect romantic partner), or even maintaining a busy schedule (school, work, hobbies, social life, sports, etc.). A variety of distractions can lead to a disconnect from what one needs. And these needs can be anything: a day off, time alone, a good cry, a good laugh, being with loved ones, focusing on an interest or hobby, meditating for longer, seeing the dentist for that toothache you’ve been ignoring, etc.
Sometimes, we don’t like to even admit to ourselves that we have these needs, but even if we ignore them, they are still there whether we like it or not. More often than not, I believe it is beneficial to acknowledge these needs and address them.
There is much, much more to be said about self-compassion, and I myself am learning. Still, I wanted to share this viewpoint and exercise. I hope it benefits you as it has benefited me.