If you have ever taken a flight, you have most certainly heard these instructions: “Should the cabin lose pressure, oxygen masks will drop from the overhead area. Please place the mask over your own mouth and nose before assisting others.” The reason for this - If you don’t put on your mask first, you risk losing consciousness and being unable to help anyone else.
With words like “social distancing” and “distance learning” now being part of our daily lives and when we are filling multiple roles that are normally shared, we can find our emotional resources being stretched to their limits. We might feel more sensitive and reactive than usual. We may find our tolerance is low and our tendency to lash out at loved ones more prevalent. In times like these, it’s essential to put on our own “oxygen mask” - to take care of ourselves so we can care for those around us. One way to do this: self-compassion.
The University of Texas at Austin Associate Professor Kristin Neff, PhD has identified three elements of self-compassion:
What are some ways you can practice self-compassion?
These are just a few ideas for practicing self-compassion. Keep in mind - it is called a “practice” because it takes intention and effort, but the benefits are worth it. And remember, we can only care for others if we first care for ourselves.
Contact your division counselor for additional support and resources.
References and Resources:
Mindful. (2017, January 11). “Jon Kabat-Zinn: Defining Mindfulness.” Retrieved March 31, 2020 from https://www.mindful.org/jon-kabat-zinn-defining-mindfulness/.
Morin, A. (2020, January 4). “Coping Skills for Dealing with Uncomfortable Emotions.” Retrieved March 31, 2020 from https://www.verywellmind.com/forty-healthy-coping-skills-4586742.
Neff, K. (2020). “What is Self-Compassion?” Retrieved March 31, 2020 from https://self-compassion.org/.
Pollak, S. M. (2019). Self-Compassion for Parents: Nurture Your Child by Caring for Yourself. The Guilford Press.
Suttie, J. (2018, October 24). “Five Ways Mindfulness Meditation is Good for Your Health.” Retrieved March 31, 2020 from https://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/five_ways_mindfulness_meditation_is_good_for_your_health.
Jodi Manton has served as the Upper School Counselor since 2015 where she provides academic and social/emotional services to Upper School students and their families. She is a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC), Nationally Certified Counselor (NCC), and Certified School Counselor. She has a master's degree in education with a concentration in mental health counseling and a Certificate of Education Specialist with a concentration in school counseling from Louisiana State University.