Hands in a heart shape holding an infinity rainbox. Underneath the words Sandra Bell ND Coach
#25 Be Kind… To Yourself

·        Self-compassion is imperative for ND individuals

·        In truth, it is more than just being kind to yourself 

·        How to build self-compassion

Self-compassion is imperative for ND individuals

Why is self-compassion so imperative for ND individuals? I would say for me that self-compassion along with radical acceptance are the cornerstones of my mental health. I believe when we live in a world built predominantly by and for the dominant neurotype, rather than being truly neuro-affirming, self-compassion is essential for NDers to maintaining a reasonable level of mental health.

As I tell my kids, all you can do is your best, some days that best will feel like you aren't up to much, and some days you'll feel awesome, but whatever your capacity is today is OK. If your best today is not being able to leave the physical and psychological safety of your bedroom, then that’s what it is. But other days your best will be to get out there and do all it is you want to get done that day, and maybe even be looking for more to do. 

In truth, it is more than just being kind to yourself

Self-compassion can be thought of as being kind to yourself, but some like Dr. Kristen Neff also add other elements such as accepting that feeling inadequate is a common experience, and that you actively don’t suppress or exaggerate your feelings.

I like to keep it simple though, and just think of it as being kind and understanding towards myself. Acknowledging that some days just getting through the day feels like a marathon, but that I can apply the concept of “kids do well if they can” to myself as well by thinking to myself - “I do well if I can”, or “I’m doing the best I can for right now”, or the simple “it is what it is”. What you are capable of that day may not seem “productive” from a capitalist standpoint, but maybe what you need is a day where you don’t have to think or do very much at all, and that’s OK.

How to build self-compassion

Self-compassion doesn’t always come naturally. For a variety of reasons we can find ourselves putting others first, or thinking we just need to keep pushing ourselves to meet some external criteria and judging ourselves harshly when we don’t meet them.

If you are struggling with being kind to yourself and “I’m doing the best that I can” feels like a cop out, the good news is you can get better at self-compassion by starting to view more situations with your kids or partner or friends or colleagues with compassion. “They are doing the best they can”. If they are struggling you could wonder about what is getting in their way or what they need to build their capacity back up. Then over time you can start applying it to yourself as well – “I’m doing the best I can.” What is getting in my way? What is it I need to build my capacity back up?

 How is your self-compassion?

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Please note all information and strategies shared as part of the blog are for information and educational purposes only and do not constitute advice for any particular individual or circumstances.