5 Ways to Cultivate Compassionate Self-Care

Self-care without self-compassion discharges a debt, usually with suffering somewhere else. Self-care with self-compassion is a gift that doesn’t have to be earned or repaid.

– Charlie Gilkey

Where are you right now, physically and emotionally, in this newly changed landscape the world today calls “normal?” Are you taking some time to notice and apply what feels good or have you unintentionally moved your needs to the back seat waiting for things to “return to normal” before making a move?

If you’ve placed your needs and care in a container go to that container. Use love and self-compassion as you look inside.

I’m a huge advocate of taking compassionate care of my needs and wants. I admit it sometimes feels counter-intuitive to extend care when I feel stress or overwhelm, but I’ve learned that this is when I need it most.

Think of self-compassion as an equal partner to the application of self-care. This is where self-compassion blends with self-care. What follows is what you need at that moment.

Here Are 5 Ways to Cultivate Compassionate Self-Care:

  1. Notice what you’re feeling and where you feel it in your body

This practice is your foundation for cultivating mindful self-care. If you are feeling physically tight, in a brain fog, unable to think clearly pause and notice where this manifests in your body. Question the emotions. Compassionately associate your need with your finding. Respond. Notice. Ease into this space, let go of the “out-come,” and do.

  1. Sleep hygiene

Are you having trouble falling asleep, having a fitful sleep, or staying asleep? Try these tips. Keep your bedroom temp cool. Cooler room temps provide more sleep comfort for your body than a warm, stuffy room.

Avoid stimulating substances like coffee or energy drinks, as well as, alcohol right before going to bed. Push back from late evening tech overload or TV. Try essential oils like lavender or an oil blend that enhances relaxation. Use a “white noise” app to block outside noise distractions. Try using one of many apps found on your smart device to calm and soothe.

  1. Body care

Compassionate self-care is found in healthy foods, hydration, and daily exercise.

  • Food

Include whole foods like raw or cooked fruits and veggies, nuts, seeds, and whole grains. Read labels and choose minimally processed and refined foods. Good wholesome food feeds your body with love.

  • Hydration

Stay well hydrated throughout the day. This powers your brain and body.

  • Movement

Get moving. As little as ten minutes of daily activities like walking, stretching, or yoga positively resets your brain and nervous system.

  1. Take things one day at a time

Overextending your physical and emotional energy can quickly create low energy and brain fog including feelings of helplessness. Acknowledge the fact that things, for the time being, have changed. Acknowledge that you are doing your best to manage your affairs and life in general right now. Smile with this insight. Know that every one of us is living in the “new normal,” as well.

  1. Be still and silent daily

Take intentional time out to simply sit and be with nothing more than where you are right now. If you are just getting started, try a two-minute silent moment while gradually increasing your silent time. Choose a time that works best for you in a distraction-free place. Being still and silent reduces stress, increases wellbeing, and promotes good sleep. Think of this quiet moment as a beautiful hug. You are worth it.

May these tips and tools lovingly guide and support you as you move through the landscape of our new normal. Share what resonates with you and other tips you’ve used for self-care!

In kindness,


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