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Self-Compassion in a Time of COVID-19 with Rose Herndier

May 18, 2020


Rose Herndie with dogI have researched self-compassion for my dissertation and teach the benefits of self-compassion in my therapy practice. I also attempt, in my daily life, to take a self-compassionate response during stressful moments. Self-compassion is extending compassion, love, acceptance to oneself. According to Dr. Kristin Neff, self-compassion involves 3 aspects including self-kindness, mindfulness and common humanity. Self-kindness involves treating yourself as you would a good friend. Mindfulness is approaching emotions in a balanced, nonjudgmental and present-focused way. Common humanity, importantly, involves the idea that we are all connected through suffering and with that, we can feel less alone and garner strength by relating, connecting, & empathizing with one another.

COVID-19 has brought about suffering, pain, uncertainties, pressures and grief for a lot of students. It can be really easy to resort to self-judgment, catastrophizing and disconnection. However, to embody self-compassion one must remember to be self-kind, present-focused and connected. I do this in a number of ways:

I switch from a space of judgment to a space of nonjudgment on the days I have not worked at my full capacity. COVID-19 has created unusual circumstances and it makes sense that I am not my usual working self.

I choose to forgive myself. I invite you to do the same.

I tend to think about the future very negatively when I read the news; however, I bring myself back to the present and this centers me. I attempt to recognize what I can and cannot control.

I choose to remain present. I invite you to do the same.

I am physically isolating for my health and yet I attempt to still connect. Common humanity is an aspect of self-compassion that encourages awareness that others are similar to us, in that we all going through this pain. I reach out to my family often and connect with friends via online mediums.

I am not alone and neither are you.

Rose Herndier, Purdue CAPS Psychology Resident, 2020


Self-Compassion Resources

Self-compassion and COVID-19 - Courtesy of the Center for Mindful Self-Compassion

10 Self-compassion practices and COVID-19 – Courtesy of the Center for Mindful Self-Compassion

Mindfulness practices and COVID-19 – Courtesy of the University of Wisconsin, Center for Healthy Minds

Common Humanity Resources

Empathy during COVID-19 – Courtesy of VeryWellMind.com

Suggestions to promote common humanity during COVID-19 – Courtesy of the University of Wisconsin, Center for Healthy Minds