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  • Writer's pictureCynthia Palmisano, Psy.D

Surviving, Thriving or compassionately in between ....

Hopefully this finds you and those closest to you well and safe. I am happy to say my family and I have weathered this pandemic relatively well. There have been fantastic moments of memories made and there have also been tears, frustrations and moments of uncertainty. In working straight through this hectic and stressful time period I have been encouraged by the resiliency of people and our inherent creativity in getting our basic and social needs met. This has been easier for some than others.

Early literature put out for mental health professionals during the crisis highlighted one specific aspect that would be essential and actually summarized this in one specific word. I remember thinking how this could be so simple and yet sometimes elusive. That word/concept was:


This is a word that many people associate with things such as spirituality and religion but in actuality, it can and should be much simpler to interpret and integrate into our lives. It is a way of treating others and a way of treating ourselves, kindly and with less (or no) judgement. In discussing this topic with clients, I've found it falls into those "easier said than done" category particularly in regards to compassion towards ourselves. We often can see others with compassion and would even treat them with more understanding than we do ourselves. We are we so hard on ourselves and critical of our own thoughts, needs and values? And are we aware how this impacts our mood, level of worry and robs us of our ability to be in the present moment?

For most people this is a multilayered answer that can benefit from exploration. However, the solution can be one you implement today, one step at a time. Consider how you would treat others, respond to them, understand them, embrace them. Can we extend even a small portion of that to ourselves and see what happens? Below are a couple of resources to help you get started. Compassion is a daily and hopefully a ongoing practice. One that is difficult to start but valuable in it's contribution to our coping, quality of life and ability to related to others and ourselves. Perhaps the start in moving away more from survival mood and towards an understanding way to weather this ongoing and challenging time in our lives. Happy Practicing!

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