Self-care – it’s such a trendy word right now. We hear about needing to practice it. There are hashtags for #selfcaresunday or #selfcareseptember. Often, we see pictures of a wine glass sharing that hashtag. As only a former drinker can tell you – self-care starts with self-compassion.
Wikipedia defines self-compassion as extending compassion to oneself in instances of perceived inadequacy, failure, or general suffering. Kristin Neff has defined self-compassion as being composed of three main components – self-kindness, common humanity, and mindfulness.
Personally, I think self-kindness is where we all initially struggle. I talk often about giving yourself grace and acknowledging the fact that you didn’t choose this. Judging and beating ourselves up over the situation we are in has absolutely no positive effect. It just perpetuates our feelings of inadequacy. There aren’t enough bubble baths or wine bottles in the world to lift us up from the beatings we are capable of giving ourselves mentally. I often say that we should talk to ourselves as we would to a child or a friend. If you would cringe at saying those words to someone else, don’t you dare say them to yourself!
You are but human. That’s right – no superpowers and you’re just as flawed as the next person. No matter how driven you are, what a perfectionist you might be – YOU.WILL.MAKE.MISTAKES. I still do, all the time. Sure, they no longer involve alcohol, but I manage to screw something up every day. Together, we are all messing up, suffering through consequences, and navigating this crazy thing called life. Our common bond as people might just be our flaws and pain, but realizing we’re making it through that together makes each day a bit easier in the long run!
Mindfulness is another trendy word that scares some people off. It really just means awareness. When it comes to self-care and self-compassion – you just can’t be too aware. Societal conditioning is constantly throwing at us what we “should” and “shouldn’t be” doing. Drinking is deemed cool, staying in on a Friday night is considered lame. Awareness is about shutting out what the outside is telling us to do and listening to our internal voices.
What is your mind telling you about alcohol? What thoughts, feelings, desires and beliefs are driving you or concerning you? Being mindful means seeking your true self and seeking resolution rather than avoiding uncomfortable situations.
Self-compassion and self-care begin with getting aware. You can raise your awareness around alcohol by beginning to read This Naked Mind for free today!
Self-care after self-compassion
Discovering self-care after self-compassion means no longer equating drinking as a reward. Instead, you’re free to reward and nourish yourself in ways that truly fulfill you. Personally, I crave time to recharge and disconnect. There’s nothing more soothing to me than a good book, a cup of tea, and a roaring fire. Throw in some dark chocolate and I’m soon on my way to bliss.
I’d love to hear how you have found self-compassion and self-care. Share your story with me!