The Biblical verse “You shall love your neighbor as yourself,” has been drummed into many of us. What especially strikes me in my work at Maze Women’s Health is that we can easily be a good friend to others but ironically, self-compassion is hard to come by.
A useful exercise to move away from self-criticism may be to ask yourself what you would say to a friend who tells you about a challenge they are facing. Would you criticize, be nasty, or shame them?
I imagine you would comfort that friend. So, why not do the same for yourself?
Our body actually responds when we are kind and tender to ourselves, circulating the “feel-good” hormone oxytocin in our blood stream. Self-compassion and telling yourself that you will get back on track when you have a setback can really help you stay motivated. Try to treat yourself as you would your neighbor!