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What is a self-compassion break?


This practice can take less than one minute, and includes the three components of self-compassion (self-kindness, common humanity, mindfulness) described by Kristin Neff. Neff has used this practice herself in difficult moments, like when her young son had a major meltdown during a flight.

When you face a stressful or painful situation as a parent, try these simple steps:

  • Name it. Accept the moment of suffering with a statement like, “this hurts,” or “this is hard.”
  • Remember your common humanity. Acknowledge that other parents have felt this way too – “I’m not alone in this,” or “everyone is struggling right now. This is hard on all of us.”
  • End with kindness. Offer yourself kindness by saying something like, “May I forgive myself,” or “This is hard, but it’s going to be okay. I’ve got this.” Tell yourself what you would tell a dear friend in the same situation.

You can also listen to a 2 minute guided self-compassion break by Dr. Joanna McDermid.  

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