Self compassion is often seen as self indulgent but without it we lose the ability to be kind to ourselves when times are hard. Jonathon must have learned to be compassionate to live until the age of 189! Right now, self compassion is vital to our survival. So make a list of whatever makes you feel good and do one nice thing for yourself every day. Run a bath, snuggle down in soft warm sheets, fill a hot water bottle to add some warmth, hug yourself if you are on your own, look at a comedy or feel good programme on tv, play the music you love, dance around your room, curl up with a good book, check out yoga for compassion, write down all the things in your life that you are grateful for even if it’s just one thing and focus on it. Even if you are finding it hard to find things to be grateful for making it a focus of your attention can trick your brain and positively affect your nervous system so you feel a little better. As humans we have that capacity to choose what kind of thinking we want to feed. Nurture yourself by noticing when you are feeding anxious thoughts, notice the habit with kindness. Our human brains are geared to have negative thoughts stick like velcro and positive ones slide off like a new non stick pan. Its not our fault it is the evolutionary development of the human race when we had to focus on threat to survive.

Right now is a time when we need to find the things in our lives that reach the soft centre of our hearts. We need to focus on the soothing opportunities in our lives-whether that is appreciating the intricacy of a spider’s web, the beauty of a rainbow, the playfulness of a puppy, the laughter of a child or anything else that makes your heart warm just a little. Self compassion in these times is a necessary quality to support us to remain resilient until we get through this and are able to look back and say ‘Wow we did it’.

The reality is life is tough for a lot of people and while we need to face those facts we also need to hold onto all of the things that are not locked down. Our ability to nurture compassion towards ourselves and others is not locked down.

Connection through the Galway Community Cafe is not locked down. We are at the end of the phone. Let us reach out and help to spread the warmth of compassion within yourself and in ever widening circles.