#UGUmbrella – This January we are looking at self-compassion
January 5, 2021
GUELPH, Ontario – Earlier in the school year, we introduced students, staff and community members to The Umbrella Project. The Umbrella Project, founded by Dr. Jen Forristal, features monthly themes, activities and curriculum links to support students and staff as they focus on wellness.
It’s safe to say that we can often be our own worst critic and because of this, this January we are looking at self-compassion. Self-compassion is the care we offer ourselves when we make mistakes, embarrass ourselves, or come short of a goal we were hoping to achieve. It’s about being kind to yourself even when things don’t go as planned.
The past year was a year of uncertainty; students, staff, families and community members had to continuously adapt to the changing situation and because of that, many things did not go as planned and many people felt the results through their own mental health.
By learning and practicing self-compassion, we as a community can build ourselves up and learn to role with life’s surprises.
Some ways to practice the umbrella skill of self-compassion and overcome your inner critic include:
- Practice forgiving yourself – We forgive others’ mistakes, but very often it takes a lot more time to forgive our own. We are human, we make mistakes. If a classmate falls during recess, our first instinct is to ask if they are okay. Instead of being embarrassed when it is you who falls, give yourself the same forgiveness you would a classmate.
- Continue practicing gratitude – We learned about gratitude in November. Part of self-compassion is continuing to appreciate the things we do have instead of dwelling on the things we don’t have.
- Find a balance when helping others – An important part of life is helping others, especially in a year where so many people have needed help. However, it is important to do a personal reflection and take a step back when you are over-extending yourself. You are not able to help others without helping yourself too.
- Practice meditation – This is an activity that classrooms and families can practice together. By practicing meditation, students, staff and families can better relax and face each day with new perspectives.
Let us know how you are practicing self-compassion by using #UGUmbrella.