Self-care: How to be a friend to yourself

20 April 2017 - Mindful Practices

When we fail or make mistakes, we beat ourselves up about it. Yet, when a friend goes through failure, we automatically work to empower and encourage them. It seems that we already possess the ability to practise care and empathy, only that we don’t direct them to ourselves.

This 4-minute video beautifully encapsulates the importance of self-care and shows us how we can be as much a friend to ourselves as we are to others. It touches on the 4 typical traits of a good friend—good indicators of how we should be treating ourselves. We list the 4 traits below the video. 

 
1. Acceptance

A good friend likes us as we are. Any suggestions they make about how we can change come from a place of acceptance. When they propose a change, it’s not that they think we aren’t good enough. Rather, they’re trying to help us solve a challenge that could be beneficial.

2. Focusing on the good

Good friends remember the things we’re getting right. We often lose sight of our strengths when trouble strikes. A friend doesn’t fall into this trap; they acknowledge our challenges while remembering our strengths.

3. Compassion

A good friend is compassionate and generous when we fail. They recognise that our failures and wrongdoings don’t make us undeserving of love, and remind us that to fail or screw up is part of being human.

4. Empathy

Good friends acknowledge that failures are common. They use their own experiences of failure to remind us (and themselves) that failure is normal and universal. By doing so, they provide us with the empathy we need during moments of self-doubt.

Final tip from us: Just as friends fail us sometimes, we’ll fail at self-care at times too. Forgive yourself just as you forgive your friends. Take it slow; self-care is a journey—every small step counts.

Congratulations on finding a new friend in yourself! Are there other self-care related articles you’d like to see? Let us know at hello@mindful-company.com.

- The Mindful Company Team