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Three steps to self-care

    To do this, find an average day from the past week.

    First step: Ask yourself: How did you treat yourself that day? What did you say to yourself? Were you able to treat yourself favorably? Or were you hard, angry, impatient with yourself? Observe without judging. If you find that you could only muster a little compassion for yourself in the situation, you are in good company: this is how the vast majority of people feel.

    Second step: Imagine what would have happened if you had not experienced this situation yourself, but if someone close to you had been in a very similar situation: How would you react emotionally if your child, your partner, your best friend or a close relative had described something similar? What would you feel? What compassionate gestures or words would you spontaneously want to give him or her? What would you most like to do or say if you saw the other person you care about in this predicament? Feel the compassion and care you have for this person. If you feel more compassion and care for the person in this situation than you do for yourself, again, you are like most people: it is often easier for people to be compassionate toward others than it is for us to be compassionate toward ourselves.

    Third step: Feel again clearly the feeling of goodwill and compassion that you have mustered for the other person. If you can, focus on it even more, amplify it. When you consciously feel this inner state of caring, try to direct the beneficial feelings to yourself now. Even if it sounds paradoxical, feeling the quality of caring immediately benefits yourself as well.