Claire Linton Q&A

What encouragement would you offer to clients regarding their practices of self-care during this continued, unique time?

Let your self-care be grounded in self-compassion. Self-compassion is the compassion we give to others, but directed towards ourselves. Kristin Neff has done extensive research on the benefits of self-compassion. She has many resources and defines specifically what self-compassion is and what it is not. You can find those definitions on her website here.

This uniquely hard moment in time can be an invitation to pause, check in with yourself, and reevaluate your self-care practices. This is an invitation to ask what is serving and what is no longer serving you, to ask yourself what you feel, what you want, what you need. Tuning in to those answers with self-compassion will be a powerful foundation for your self-care practices.

So practically, what does that look like? For me, when I am having a hard time accomplishing goals, or emotionally I am just having a hard day, I get curious. Instead of using a harsh tone or belittling myself for struggling, I tune into what I’m feeling. I imagine a younger version of myself as the part of me that is struggling. I reach out to her with compassionate phrases like, I see you’re struggling right now, I’m so sorry. I’m here for you. I will even physically put my hand on my heart or wrap my arms around myself in a hug to further the self-compassionate connection. Then after taking that moment to tune in and extend compassion to myself, I can then think through what I need. Maybe it is a quick walk for some fresh air before getting back to work. Maybe it’s a snack, or some water. Maybe it’s asking for help with a task that feels heavy on my own. Maybe it’s calling it a day, turning off screens and doing something life-giving with loved ones. Or maybe, after that moment of self-compassion, there is new energy to accomplish the previously dreaded task.


-Claire Linton, MA

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