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Compassion

  • Compassion means “To suffer with”
  • You feel warmth, caring and the desire to help a suffering person in some way

Self-compassion

  • Giving yourself the same care and kindness you’d give to others
  • Instead of just disregarding your pain with a “stiff upper lip” mentality, you stop to tell yourself “I’m struggling right now, how can I comfort and care for myself in this moment?”
  • Honouring and accepting your humanness
  • The more you open your heart to the reality that pain/struggle/failure exists, the more you will be able to feel compassion for yourself and others
  • Plays a promising role in providing novel, safe and effective complementary pain reduction and management strategies as part of a biopsychosocial approach to pain care

When you’re in a moment of suffering/struggle, give the following a try:
Mindfulness: Notice, acknowledge and accept that you are in a moment of suffering. Become aware of the breath, the general state of the body, energy level and any judgements the mind is creating

The Humanity Connection: Recognize you are not alone in this. Repeat this mantra: Loka Samasta Sukhino Bhavantu – meaning “May the whole world attain peace and harmony.” This chant helps create a greater capacity for love to all sentient beings and harmoniously connects you with humanity

Kindness: Extend kindness towards yourself through karuna mudra, a yoga hand mudra conveying a gesture of compassion. Cup the hands and place them in an asymmetrical prayer position. As you breathe in, imagine the breath is softening the area around your heart, and repeat silently to yourself, “It’s OK.” As you breathe out, imagine letting go of any tension around the heart and repeat, “This is enough,” in a tone that is patient, soothing and forgiving. Repeat this for a few slow breaths. Use whatever mantra/affirmation provides you with a sense of kindness and self-love

Source: Yoga and Science in Pain Care: Treating the Person in Pain

Self-Care

  • Prioritizing yourself and taking good care of yourself is vital, but it becomes even more important when you live with extra challenges like chronic pain conditions
  • Doing all you can to help yourself by making good choices and being active in doing things that improve your life and help you function
    • This can help you to gain confidence, especially as you see the positive results of your actions on improving your mood and quality of life

 

3 Areas that Involve Self-Care:

Area Focus Self-Care Activities
Physical Condition
  • Managing your symptoms and ensuring you’re doing all you can to minimize them
  • Symptom monitoring
  • Taking medications/supplements
  • Attending appts with healthcare practitioners
  • Practicing therapy methods at home
  • Reaching out for help when needed
Everyday Tasks
  • Doing all you can to maintain a healthy routine
  • Showering/bathing
  • Eating well-balanced meals
  • Mindful movement
Mental Health
  • Understanding that your illness does not define you and disallowing your symptoms to hold you back
  • Talking to a therapist
  • Setting life goals without allowing your condition to limit you
  • Finding balance and setting aside time to do things that really nurture your happiness