As we come towards the end of Mental Health Awareness Week 2020, its theme of kindness feels more relevant and crucial than ever. We find ourselves in the midst of a global pandemic where alongside difficult feelings of uncertainty, anxiousness and isolation, we also have seen remarkable acts of community, connectedness and kindness.
Many of my professional and personal reflections at this time have centred around the role of kindness both in a global sense but also specifically about the role of kindness towards ourselves. The role of self compassion and kindness is now needed more than ever, as we find ourselves in a period of extended lockdown where many of the things that normally support our well=being are temporarily unavailable to us.
Showing compassion and kindness towards ourselves often requires a process of relearning, of noticing our tendency for negative self talk or in developing an ability to take some mindful time out to help us to recognise what support we may want or need. Self kindness and compassion is often a central theme in my work as a school counsellor, supporting young people to acknowledge and celebrate that they are ‘good enough’ and that when they can come into relationship with kindness towards themselves, many shifts will start to occur.
“Self Compassion is simply giving the same kindness to ourselves that we would give to others “ – Christopher Germer.