Monthly Archives

February 2019

Compassion Self-Care

Self-Compassion on Valentine’s Day

Self-compassion on Valentine’s Day (and everyday, multiple times a day) is going to be important for people who might have some pain associated with relationships and find themselves triggered on this day (pretty much everyone). While the commercialization of the day is widespread, we can’t help but see all messages about love, coupledom, and gifts galore. Which in and of itself, can be triggering. While this day is associatedwith intimate relationships (at least here in the U.S., in Latin America it’s deemed Day of Love and Friendship), I’d like to invite you all to examine the relationship with yourself and practice self-compassion on Valentine’s Day, regardless of your relationship status, plans for the day, and even beyond that. Self-Compassion expert, Dr. Kristin Neff defines self-compassion as encompassing three main parts: self-kindness, the commonality of suffering among all, and mindfulness of emotions without judgment (www.selfcompassion.org). Easy-pleasy, right?

Practicing self-compassion can be really hard especially for people who grew up hearing constant criticism about the things they do or about who they are. Self-compassion might also be hard for those who tend to use rigid thinking, aka black-and-white and all-or-nothing thinking. “Shoulding” on yourselves and others also makes it hard to practice compassion because there is frustrated judgment/expectations.

The way you do self-compassion is by: 1) acknowledge the suffering, which can sound like, “I’m feeling really lonely right now.” 2) Explore with value is being targeted, “connection/love is really important to me. I like being with people who love me and who I feel safe around.” 3) Be kind to yourself (Tip: ifthis is hard to do, think of what you would tell your 5 year old self who is feeling lonely). You can do this by engaging in healthy relationships (key: must be healthy and safe) or by nurturing the relationship with yourself by engaging in things you like to do, being creative, treating yourself with a healthy activity, listening to your body (rest, eat, sleep, exercise, stretch, take prescribed medications, etc.), 4) Lastly, connect with the commonality of suffering and how kind you’ve been to others. Then turn that compassion toward yourself: “Suffering is a normal part of life. If my best friend was suffering, I’d hold her and tell her, ‘I got you.'” Get you. Hold you. Be good to you. Say these nice things to yourself. 

Self-care and self-validation are also crucial any time of the year. Self-care is when you do things that are simply good for you. Whether it’s saying no to others, feeding yourself, resting, taking a long bath, or prioritizing paying your bills, all those things are good for you. Self-validation is when you acknowledge your struggle for what it is and can link how feeling a certain way makes sense for you given your experience. It can sound like, “Yes, it makes sense to feel this.” It’s not praise, it’s more of telling yourself that your emotions are are true and they matter. 

Want to get yourself or a loved one something wellness related? Check out these gift ideas (Disclosure: I am a part of the Amazon Affiliate Program where I earn a small commission from items purchased from these links. Which I in turn use, to buy new books to review and recommend): 

  1. A weighted blanket which is said to help with sleep for people who suffer from anxiety disorders, sensory issues and many other sensitivities. 

2. Gratitude journal 

 

3. Passion Planner to help focus on goal setting.

4. Journal Focused on Affirming and Self-Care

 

5. “Read me when” Cards: I created these cards for people to use as coping cards or reminders for when times are tough and it’s hard to remember the balanced thoughts you came up with. They are wallet sized and on matted card stock paper. Sometimes it can make all the difference in coping. To order some, feel free to email me at info@sofiamendozalcsw.com. Mention this blog and get 20 for $10. 

 

Want to listen to amazing podcasts that inspire healing, growth, creativity and self-love? Check out these that I’ve been personally obsessed with in the last month: 

Hey, Girl by Alex Elle 

The Art of Money by Bari Tessler 

First Gen Journey by Dr. Elisa Hernandez 

Latinx Therapy Podcast by Adriana Alejandra Alejandre, LMFT 

Rad and Happy Podcast by Tara Nearents

In closing, I wish you all a great day whether you celebrate Valentine’s Day or not. I wish you all moments of peace from your suffering. Ultimately, I wish for you to find the right words and actions that contribute to your well-being. 

For more updates on the blog, giveaways, and sources of inspiration, follow me on instagram at @mendingrootstherapy. 

To Do

Freebie: To-Do List with Compassionate Reminders

The To-Do List is an essential part of the organized person’s life. What is often left out of to-do lists though, is a reminder section for self-care, compassion and how to ask for help. Since the majority of the people I work with have a number of competing responsibilities, roles, and priorities, I created this freebie To-Do List printable to get you focused on task completion, along with some reminders about making sure you select a self-care activity, tell yourself a compassion phrase, focus on effectiveness (whatever works!), and ask for help when needed.

Self-Care is crucial. It’s especially important for people with high stress jobs, careers and lives. Self-Care is the #1 topic in my sessions with First Generation Professionals, especially those in helping professions. Burnout and compassion fatigue are occupational hazards for helping professions, therefore self-care is a priority.

Self-Compassion aka Compassion Statements are just as important especially when people tend to beat themselves up for missing deadlines, performance evaluations, etc. Compassion means calling out the struggle for what it is and wrapping with it TLC (tenderness, love, care) for oneself. For compassion statements to be powerful, they must be personalized.
Below is my favorite book with empathic and compassion statements if you need help coming up with some (Disclosure: I’m a part of the Amazon Affiliate Program which means that I earn a small commission if you buy directly from this link. Proceeds from the commissions go toward buying more books to read and recommend). Otherwise, you can check out selfcompassion.org for more information.

Focusing on effectiveness, means “just do what works.” Sometimes we get caught up with control, perfectionism, fears about quality, (and oh so many more) that it causes us to avoid tasks and they don’t get done. Then we’re mad or disappointed in ourselves, and perhaps other consequences as well. Effectiveness means just get it done. I remember hearing in my college English and creative writing classes that a paper is never done, it’s just due. The same thing applies with a lot of tasks we need to prioritize. Not everything will require the same amount of detail. Do what works/satisfactory work (or even just that need that check mark next to it, like, ‘Paid Bill;’ ‘Scheduled conference call;’ ‘submitted request;’). These tasks might not require dissertations or much thought.

Asking for help is another big topic that I’ve come across. Not only personally, but professionally and with my clients. Additionally, this is a common theme among First Generation College Students and Professionals. Major strengths among First Gens is their resourcefulness and grit to get through high school and college, and many times with a feeling of doing it completely on their own (especially because they are the first in their families to do what they’re doing/studying etc). As professionals, I’m seeing that it can be super hard to ask for help, for fear that it might imply that we’re incompetent, not worthy, lazy, etc. But asking for help is a major strength. It’s what let’s villages raise children. It’s what teamwork is built on. It’s what can transform suffering into manageable pain, and isolation substituted with connection.

Try these tips! Download the freebie To-Do List with Compassionate Reminders and let me know what you think.