The types of New Year's resolutions we often make involve doing more, being better, and becoming stricter with ourselves. I often think, however, that the most important resolution we can commit to is practicing compassion with ourselves. When I refer to self-compassion, I don't mean letting ourselves become overly lazy or indulgent or shirking our responsibilities. Instead, I think of all the subtle and not so subtle ways we can be unkind and unsupportive to ourselves in moments when we could really use a dose of gentleness and ease instead.
It's an interesting practice to consider how we can best support ourselves as we go through our daily lives: how might we tackle our activities and tasks in a way that matches the ebb and flow of our energy level, how can we be kind with ourselves when we're feeling stretched, and how can we tell when we have it in us to take a risk and when we need to be gentle with ourselves? For some of us, it makes sense to apply the golden rule ("Do unto others as you would have them do unto you") in reverse, offering ourselves the same respect and kindness that we extend to those we're taking care of. In this way, we can remind ourselves to include self-care and self-kindness in our daily life.
Written for www.caregiversurvivalnetwork.com.