Self-compassion: the benefits of being kind to yourself podcast

This podcast explores how self-compassion can have a positive impact on personal health and wellbeing.

In this episode, host Charlie Swift is joined by three academics engaged in research concerned with investigating how self -compassion can have a positive impact on personal health and wellbeing.

The conversation considers the application and utility of self-compassion practices across a broad range of target populations and offers practical tips on how one can better care for themselves.  A throughline in the discussion is the need for further research on developing, designing, facilitating, and evaluating self-compassion education and training programmes.

Speaker profile(s)

Mary Steen is Professor of Midwifery at the University of Northumbria, Newcastle (UK).  She has a wide remit of research interests and published extensively on midwifery, maternal family health and wellbeing.

Dianne Wepa is Associate Professor of Mental Health and Professional Lead at the University of Bradford (UK). She has published widely on community safety, clinical supervision and mental health.

Stephen McGhee is Associate Clinical Professor and Assistant Dean for Student Success at Ohio State University College of Nursing, Columbus (USA). His research interests include emergency medical care, care of veterans and pathophysiology.

In this episode:

  • What are the main components of self-compassion?
  • What are the historical roots of self-compassion? 
  • What is the role of self-compassion in professional practice and learning?
  • How do you cultivate self-compassion? 

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Self-Compassion: the benefits of being kind to yourself

Charlie Swift (CS): Hi, I'm Charlie Swift. And in this episode, I'm joined by three academics and practitioners who are researching self-compassion, and its impacts on individuals, families and workplaces. Our conversation considers the definition, application and utility of self-compassion practices, why they're increasingly needed, and what the common barriers to adopting them are. We explore the links between populations as apparently diverse as student midwives and military veterans, young parents and corporate employees, and discuss the need for further research on developing designing, facilitating and evaluating self-compassion, education and training programmes. 

My first guest is Dr. Mary Steen.

Mary Steen (MS): I'm Mary Steen. I'm the professor of midwifery in the Nursing Midwifery and Health Department. And that's at the University of Northumbria in the United Kingdom. And I have several visiting professorships in other countries around the world.

CS: My second guest is Dr. Diane Wepa.

Dianne Wepa (DW): Hello, my name is Dr. Diane Wepa. I'm the Associate Professor and Professional Lead Mental Health in the Faculty of Health Studies at the University of Bradford.

CS: I'm also joined by Dr. Stephen McGhee.

Stephen McGhee (SM): My name is Dr. Stephen McGhee, and I am the Assistant Dean for Student Success and Associate Clinical Professor within the College of Nursing at The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio.

CS: I began by asking Mary to define self-care and self-compassion.

MS: It's interesting. When I was starting the education and training with nurses and midwives, they're a little bit, “Oh, we're not sure what self-compassion is.” And they quite liked me to say that I was educating and teaching compassionate self-care. It's interesting how people will accept different concepts. Now, to me, self-compassion is having the ability to care for yourself, by being aware of your feelings, and accepting these when you're experiencing difficult life problems. And our work challenges. I mean, Christine Neff, for example, defines self-compassion, being caring and compassionate towards oneself in the face of hardship, or perceived inadequacy. And Paul Gilbert in the UK, has stated, it's a basic kindness with a deep awareness of the suffering of oneself and other living things, coupled with the wishes and efforts to be relieved. So, two important key words, their suffering, and obviously, the importance of to relieve it. And Paul Kilburn even includes all other living things. So, it's around that because you can't get around suffering in life. And it is embedded in the Buddhist philosophy, which has been around for 2500 years, and the three inevitable, which is aging, illness and death. And we try to avoid it. 

SM: I’ve looked at self-compassion and try to see where they also could be deployed and urge to try to really articulate in my own mind what it is. And at that particular time, I personally, I was going through some tough challenges. I had some personal bereavement, I'm of an age, you know, we're like we all do in life where we start to lose those around you that you love dearly. But when I think of self-compassion, I suppose I see it as being able to acknowledge pain, instead of turning away from it. And I think self-compassion, acknowledges life is hard for everyone. And that's exactly what he's just kind of pointed out there. And also think a part of self-compassion is not to self-judge. As I know, my mind always leads to seek for flaws in my character. So, it's about trying to not label yourself as not good enough in lots of different ways. I also think it's about trying to be kind to yourself and others. And a huge part of self-compassion is this notion of acceptance, you know, such that you are open to your thoughts and your feelings, and you don't really hide away from them. And I think there was a period of time in everyone's lives, we've all done that before, we're something you know, has been difficult to deal with in our lives, and we've kind of tried to hide away from it. I also think there's something in the idea of compassion that relates to invalidation. Because in all I see in myself community when it's totally mine up when you have those difficult situations, but that in some ways is like providing an invalidation to yourself. So going through painful things at work, or with family can also leave you slightly disconnected. So, I went over that version in my own life and colleagues lives, when I've seen a current and military colleagues that I've had in the past, it's always really great to spend time with family so that that allows you to connect with people. And I think the other central tenants of what self-compassion really is. 

CS: And I think some of what you've just said that really challenges if I'm thinking about nurses and midwives, they're thinking about their patients, they're not thinking about themselves and active people in the armed forces, it's about action, stereotypically, they're very much not thinking about their own feelings. And the sort of popular view might be that they're actively encouraged to suppress their feelings so that they can go and do what they need to do. So, these are two populations who it might be hard to encourage to look inwards. Is that fair? 

SM: Certainly, from the military perspective. Absolutely. Charlie, I think you've got a really important point. And I think there's a certain stigma that's attached to, you know, military members saying that they have an issue. But I think, you know, as a result of the last 10 years of those high tempo operations that further interaction Afghanistan, I think people are much more aware of the issues that operational service can do. And also, I think people are much more aware of the issues that people have due to social media, you know, and it's very much in the public side. So, I think people are much more reflective and open to looking at self-compassion, certainly military members looking at self-compassion as a potential strategy to ameliorate those mental health risks that you get as a result of serving in austere environments. 

CS: So, it's sort of quite a practical tool, really, rather than an indulgence,

DW: Absolutely. And it's looking at forgiveness, too. And what Kristin Neff says, it's good enough for health professionals and parents, you know, I've done a good enough job, you know, I'm good enough. And really trying to forgive ourselves, like Stephen said, you know, like “manning up,” and I've got to be at a certain standard and this level was, sometimes we've really got to dial it back. And, and I think Mary could probably take it from here, in terms of looking at what I've done is good enough for today.

MS: Yeah, we've just published a systematic review. And one of my postdoctoral students took the lead, and interestingly enough, we looked at self-compassion education for parents and their families while caring for their children. Seven of the ten studies that met the inclusion criteria, were actually parents, with children with additional needs. And what was being demonstrated was that it did help them to cope when they were struggling as a parent, to give themselves the self-care and self-compassion that the need. But I want you to go back because you did mention the nurses and the midwives when you were talking about veterans. And we're doing here because I'm back up in the northeast of England at the moment, I'm at the University of Northumbria and they're very keen to do work with nurses and midwives. Because we're not in a good place. At the moment, especially in the UK. I don't know if you heard, I mean, first time was in 136 years nurses are going on strike, you know, because the conditions in the National Health Service are not good. How can you be compassionate to someone else if you're not compassionate to yourself? And what we find is it's not only the nurses and midwives, it’s the next generation is our students. Our students are really struggling, and perhaps the added pressure because of the COVID pandemic, you know, we're all coming out of that, aren't we? They're all struggling. Kristin Neff talks about the three interacting components with a positive and a negative element. So, for example, just say self-kindness versus self-judgment, common humanity versus isolation, and mindfulness versus well for identification. So, what are the self-kindness is like befriending yourself. So, you'd give yourself the same kindness you would give someone else. And not to be so judgmental. Steve just talked about, you know, the self-critic. I mean, I remember us, obviously, you can't put a wise head on young shoulders, as my grandfather used to say, but I remember being very stressed as an adolescent, and my dad is a true Yorkshireman, know their worth. And he'd say, “Oh, you're making a mountain out of a molehill.” You know you catastrophising, which we do. And you'd say, well, you're not going in that direction. Just live in the present the here and now. And obviously from Yorkshire have a cup of tea. And it'll be right, you know, all these little strategies, but they actually worked. And I am really concerned for our students now the next generation is a lot of pressure on them at the moment to actually study and get a qualification and actually live. I think life in general has become quite challenging.

CS: Yes. And then they're also training for a role that is incredibly responsible for somebody else's life. So, are they feeling that pressure entering that profession as well?

MS: Well, they are and remember, you are going to be accountable. You're accountable for what you do and you're accountable for what you don't do as a health professional. And also the mentors in practice, if there are suffering from compassion, our empathy fatigue as some people describe it, and a burn out, how likely are they're going to be able to mentor when the students are in clinical practice? We're in a vicious circle now, 

CS: In both veteran environment and the healthcare environment, I'm sort of thinking that the public often talks about both types of people as heroes. Diana, I wonder if you could just give me your thoughts on that term and its effects. 

DW: Yeah, it's quite a loaded term, isn't it a hero, because to have a hero, you have to have someone that you've saved? You know, you have to have a victim, quote, unquote. And so yeah, it's very detrimental to healthcare professionals that may feel they have to live up to that, that standard.

SM: No, I agree. And, you know, that term hero can cast the shadow sometimes, and, you know, the half-life of that hero, can disappear very quickly, as well. And, you know, notwithstanding the fact that Mary made some great points about the current state in the United Kingdom, you know, we have nurses going on strike at the moment. But also, that's a very similar perspective to the United States, you know, the losses in New York, in the state of New York are looking at strike action, and feeling very undervalued at the moment, especially within this post pandemic environment. But also, you know, we are in the midst of a coastal flooding crisis. And those individuals who are coming into the profession or having to deal with so much more difficult circumstances than I did when I came into nursing in 1988. You know, many of our students are having issues with food insecurity. Many of our students in the United States have issues, you know, being single parents, the cost of textbooks are hugely expensive. So, the stresses that our students are facing at the moment is absolutely huge. We are putting some strategies in place to try and ameliorate those risks, but it can't be piecemeal, it has to be a national strategy. And I think we're in the United States, we're at the beginning of that work. But yeah, absolutely. That term hero, as Dianne points to is alluded to.

CS: You're talking there about some real food insecurity, lack of money, people also have housing issues, and so on, and this sort of deep fatigue after years of, of battling on through the pandemic and losing touch with other people as well, I think. Just to play devil's advocate, do people ever turn around and say, goodness, me, I haven't got time for self-compassion? How is that going to put a meal on the table?

MS: I always say you can always make time for self-compassion. And it's unlearning bad habits. And I say to parents, when they say they're too busy, you can always do three minutes, like Susan Pollock, who has done quite a bit of work about self-compassion. With Parents, we can all spare three minutes count where there's no nobody more important than you. Because like I said, if you are not well, and maintain your health and wellbeing how can you care for anyone else? It has to start with you. And we have to recognise that too.

SM: Yeah, I totally agree. Charlie, that was a great question, by the way, you know, because I think there probably are many people that say they're too busy to do this. But I think when you have that teachable moment, you know, it could be something like going to your doctor, for your annual review, and your blood pressure is up, or your cholesterol is up, you know, and then you have the stress, you know, related to sports to that, then that teachable moment, as what certainly pushes people towards self-compassion. Now, I've used a couple of examples that are a little bit severe and extreme, but it could be just feeling stressed at work, you know, that can be the teachable moment. We're all professional people. So we may all all have been there at one point where we've had to take a step back and say, okay, let's put some strategies in place here. Because I'm feeling overwhelmed. I'm feeling stressed. You know, I don't feel part of the team. 

CS: Maybe it's a case of, I've tried everything else. And I've tried very, very hard, because I've heard from all three of you that that's what people have been doing. They've been trying very, very hard, but it they're still not winning. So this is a new strategy they can try.

DW: And I think it's been comfortable with being uncomfortable. Like sitting with that feeling as well not feeling like you have to solve it. Either health professionals are very, you know, nurses, midwives, for example, are very great problem solvers. And, you know, people in the military as well and so it would be okay, I have a problem. I have to solve it because this is what I do in my job. So, I have to be task focused and do this, this, this and this, and I think some of those quote unquote soft skills around sitting with you motion, and letting it just be, is something I think health professionals need to learn more.

CS: That's quite frightening, though, isn't it? Potentially? How can people start doing that in a way that doesn't freak them out?

MS: Yes, some of the self-compassion skills. And for example, your heart is quite powerful. And you can use, you know, to calm yourself both of your hands and place the palms over your heart, I kind of find that, okay, and I think I'm going to be okay. Why am I feeling like this because reason something's triggered me, I'm going to just give myself just some calming and some inner and outer calming breaths, and I'm going to put my hands on my hat, or some people prefer one hand on the hat, and one hand on their abdomen, the solar plexus, just to take that time out, if you like, and to just calm and take those breaths, and you will, and then it will can calm your pulse, and your blood pressure. There's links, obviously, with doing self-compassion, with actual mental health, and also physical health and wellbeing benefits as well.

CS: So, the physical breathing, and the postures that you take up, they're calming you physically, what happens next?

MS: Well, when you do that, you induce a state of calmness and relaxation. And it's okay if you lose concentration, because we're human beings. And we do, but then to go back to some of the sort of self-compassion skills that you can learn. And it's interesting because a couple of the students, and I was wanting to look at the difference, obviously, between the male students and the female students, because they were struggling with self-compassion. And they were said, Is self-regulation? And I said, What do you mean by that, and when he explained that, he said, When I struggle, I have to give myself such a hard time. I'm my worst critic. And it took quite a long time for him to actually realise that he actually can do this, he has it within, but he was realising that there was someone sort of triggers some guilt related trauma that he had to deal with. And the evidence I know, when we did the veterans review, it came out quite strong, that self-compassion skills were very good for guilt related trauma.

SM: No, I agree, point nearly, you know, many military service personnel, combined with a with a wide range of kill, it could be for you the catastrophic events that happened, you know, when you were engaging close to the enemy, or it may have been the loss of a very close colleague, you know, why, why them and not me, because that's something that a lot of military personnel, certainly those colleagues who deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan will, you know, that they've had. So, guilt is not, it's not an obvious, you know, negative feeling that people have coming back from operations, you know, the, the person picking up a newspaper might not realise that, but guilt is a very strong feeling that a lot of active duty and military veterans have. And it was interesting to see that self-compassion had an ability to try to ameliorate and reduce the effects of that guilt feeling, which was, which was really interesting. And I think that's what makes self-compassion really quite unique. I think you have these particular soft touch tools at your fingertips, and simple techniques at your fingertips, you know, the low cost, you don't have to book an appointment for them. And also, there are no side effects. So it makes the portability of self-compassion, really accessible. And that's why I think we're seeing a move towards self-compassion being integrated into lots and lots of different walks of life.

CS: There's something there around, do I deserve compassion? So, if there's guilt about that must be a barrier in itself. It's almost like you need the self-compassion to deal with the guilt but the guilt is going to be a barrier to you accessing it.

DW: I've been doing some work with Bruce Perry's neuro sequential model in terms of suicide prevention in a yet the brainstem at the bottom of our brain, and then you have the midbrain, the limbic part of the brain, and then the cortical. I think there's a real connection there between what we seen around self-compassion. And, you know, our brainstem keeps us alive, doesn't it to regulate our heart rate, and Bruce Perry has come up with another component to fight, flight and freeze. And after the Christchurch earthquakes here in New Zealand, he created “flock” and so what he said is that when they say an earthquake, people actually look at other people for some sort of signal. What should I do? Should I run shall I duck for cover? And so that's now been updated to fight flight, freeze and now flock and you know, our heart rate, like Mary was saying, it's within our brain stem. It really is the primal part of who we are. And then we have the midbrain, which looks at coordination of movement. And so, some people when they're stressed, they like rhythm, and they may rock, or they may go to music and that sort of thing. And then the limbic part of the brain is our emotional response to a situation. And then of course, you had the cortical part, which is around empathy, controlling yourself, and things like literacy. So, I think there's something around the brain that we're with self-compassion, it's trying to tap into those different components of our brain. So, say, say you lose your keys. It doesn't matter what you're trying to save yourself, where are my keys, the cortical part of our brain, if our heart rate is up high, our brainstem is saying you're stressed, there's no way you can access the cortical part of your brain to say, where are my keys, so it all comes down to heart rate, fight, flight, freeze, flock component of our brain, so we have to really calm our brainstem to be able to access other parts of our higher level functioning of our brains.

CS: That's, that's sort of parallels with Maslow's hierarchy of needs or something isn't it's I've no, I have to know I'm physically safe, before I can start doing something creative or emotive or companionable. I was also interested in to have you there mentioned, say, a learning moment or when your heart is calm, I'm feeling physically calmer, and then, as explained them by sort of higher thinking skills could come in, and aren't going to be curious about what was it that made me feel stressed and just investigate that a little.

MS: I think it's having the skills to reflect on why did you feel like that, and then what we talked about earlier, all about the acceptance. And that's how self-compassion can help you. Because, you know, somebody might say something or upset you and you think, oh, and then you don't react as positively as you could have done. And then you have to reflect you think, well, what was it that triggered me? Why? Why do I feel hurt, and it's okay to feel like this, you know, not to avoid it to accept those emotions and feelings, somebody might have been very rude to me, which can happen, you know, when you're at work, and you're thinking, Well, I don't know what's going on in their life, I don't want to take that too, personally. But what's triggered me, I'm gonna have to accept these feelings. And then I can move on. And I know it'll get better. But we're often we try to avoid it. But ultimately, it will build up in your emotional tank, as we call it. I know Kristin Neff tells a great story when she was flying from the states over to London, and her son's autistic. And she realised that she has to remain calm, if there's an issue, you know, on the airplane, and then he will calm, otherwise it will escalate. And it's kind of developing the skills of giving yourself compassion when things are not going quite well.

SM: The strategies are all designed to try and allow you to become conditioned to be able to cope in stressful environments. And you have to practice these strategies, you know, some of the strategies, the strategy Mary mentioned earlier, that are handled with the heart, that are breathing exercises that you can do that you that you can practice, I think it's about trying to wear it lightly. You know, don't, don't take it to heart, don't let it fester in your in your breathing, but it's about trying to wear it as lightly as you possibly can. And that's essentially what self-compassion is trying to do.

CS: So intercepting the blame, the self-blame that that compiling there, and also the fear of the of the big emotions.

SM: Were absolutely and it's again, it's about self-criticism, because you know, the brains get neuroplasticity property. So it can evolve over time sorts of trying to condition your brain to not go into that place. And those you know, self-compassion is a really nice group of little techniques that you can do to try and stop your brain from going into those difficult areas.

CS: Fine, we've been talking about a range of sort of life moments from the from the trivial, sort of why isn't a person smiling at me through to serious challenges within people's work roles? Can you talk a bit about how self-compassion can help people with suicidal thoughts?

DW: Absolutely. Yeah. The project I'm working on at the moment at the University of Bradford, as I'm working with people that have had experience with suicide family members or have been involved in that space themselves. And it's really interesting because I had a view that perhaps people would want to talk to a real person as it were to talk about their issues. And some of the folks in the advisory group have said, are dying if I go online, and I'm looking for a digital solution? I want to stay online. I don't always want to be signposted to a website or, you know, to ring a number. And so, I explored that further. And folks said that they would actually like a live chat booth, and so not a robot, but someone they can check with us. Oh, okay, so I had these preconceptions, you know, that everyone wants to talk to a real person, which a lot of people do. But yeah, it was really a learning experience for me that in terms of suicide prevention, people just want to have a qualified person online, that can actually use the chat function, and it won't be a robot, but still have those empathy skills to help walk that person through that dark space at that moment in time.

CS: Maybe one of the benefits of the chat function is there's some sort of anonymity you can, or privacy whilst connecting, you don't have to kind of reveal your entire self to a person when you're feeling so vulnerable. But you definitely want more warmth and empathy and reality than a than a bot. That's going to read a script to you.

DW: Absolutely, yeah. And being connected, I think, is the key, isn't it? You know, if it's a bot, and you know, if it's a person, from the research I've been doing, the Samaritans seem to be the provider that are quite active in that space, which is really good to hear.

CS: Mary with the parents that you've worked with, they may or may not have great digital connections. What are the ways can they connect with people so that they feel less alone?

MS: Yes, you can do things online, and that's an option. But also, we are mammals. And we like human contact, don't we, and the young people, I think they need each other. So they're not the only one, you remember, I mentioned, the components of self-compassion that Christine Neff has pioneered the self-kindness, but the common humanity, or common humanity is the shared experience, that we're not the only one, you know, when we feel really bad, and maybe we've had a relationship breakup, and we've got an illness, we're struggling, we think we're the only person at the time, but it's not. That's, that's why it's that shared common humanity. I mean, I've run mothers’ groups, and we've done exercise with them, like low, sort of resistance, Pilates, and things, but what always comes out strong is the support and befriending of their peers. So not only that, it's that group interaction, that is really, really powerful as well. And they did said, obviously, during COVID, we've had to give parenting sort of education online. But they really do want that connectedness to actually help them to maintain their mental health and wellbeing. 

CS: Is self-compassion something that they can talk about amongst themselves, or is that quite an alien language?

MS: It's interesting, because they're really thinking like, what is self-compassion? And like I said, even when I was doing some education and training with nurses and midwives, they actually preferred that the, you know, as finding yourself compassion, so the lights that okay, but the really said that we like compassionate self-care. And I, okay, if that's, you know, if that's what relates to you, it's being compassionate to yourself. That's, you know, they understand that thing. And self-compassion skills are for life. You know, when you think self-compassion enables a person to accept or not avoid negative emotions and feelings when we're hurt, or we might be suffering. And we all do at some time in our life. There is a healing process and believe in that process. And we will come through the other end,

CS: Yes, all these things shall pass. 

DW: Indeed, yes, that saying, Actually what I teach my clients that just to say it will pass, you know, so if somebody wants to lose weight as an example, instead of saying to yourself, you know, I've got to stop eating chocolate cake or chocolate, you, you, because that's keeping you in that negative self-talk, you turn it into, I'll eat more vegetables, I will go for a walk. So the language has to be more positive as well, I will do this, you know, more future focused, rather than I want to do that. So those are really easy techniques with self-compassion.

SM: Another simple technique I like is just waking up in the morning and just, you know, having a good dose of vitamin G, which is Gratitude, and rate three things that I put gratitude for, you know, and I know that that's a strategy that's used in a lot of organisations across the United States. Because the more you do that, the more that you condition your brain into feeling good things, as opposed to focusing on the painful elements that you might be experiencing in your private life or for that matter in your professional life.

CS: And I'm interested just to bring it right background to your research, or other people's research in the field, where do you see this going? Is it going to be more about how the brain operates like diamonds turning us or the impact in individual people's lives? Or the changes in organisational performance? Where would you like it to go? Mary?

MS: I think we need to look at maybe different target populations throughout the lifespan, because I do believe that everybody can benefit from self-compassion. I mean, we've been involved now with three studies and reviews. And I've just recently finished one, but we're not published yet on self-compassion and the older people, I said, I just finished my mental health, postgraduate diploma in Nam 10 Institute in Australia. And it's saying the same thing, older people that might not be as mobile as there was before. So, it's that acceptance, I think there's some areas of interest there, of how self-compassion skills can help, right throughout the lifespan. But I think there's a need to do a little bit more research, just to build on the emerging evidence that's only really been around for the last two decades, and I found it difficult to find funding that would fit in for research around the caregivers, 

DW: I agree. And the indigenous populations around the world, I think there's lessons to be learned from those groups, like the Aboriginal people, and then the Maori population in New Zealand, and then, obviously, obviously, other areas as well, because I think indigenous populations do have a lot to share that that's probably been quite invisible to the Western World. And the term self-compassion may not be what they use. I know, in my culture, Maori culture in New Zealand, they use the term out of her arhoa which means, can mean love, that you it also means the term in English is feel sorry for them. But I do think it's actually a type of compassion. And yet, so I think there's something a bit of work to be done around that. What is it, the indigenous populations do, that other cultures could learn from?

SM: What is interesting Charlie, you mentioned this, you know, specific areas that self-compassion has been deployed, you know, potentially the sky's the limit, possibly with self-compassion, notwithstanding the fact that we still have to do you know, more robust research. But, you know, in the United States, we're even seeing that, you know, health insurance, if you are able to, to, to do some small courses offered by your employer, you can get a rebate on your health insurance, there are already organisations that are financially incentivising wellness, which has self-compassion, central to that whole wellness piece. 

CS: So maybe there's a place for some partnership between the corporate world and the health and research world, there could be so much data gathered on, I don't know, absence rates, or, as I say, productivity, even I hate to use the word utility, I hate to make something that's so heart, heartfelt, and heart based, just utilitarian. But if that gets the funding, that would be great.

MS: When I did some work in the Emirates, and I was (unintelligible). And in Brazil, they all stopped for lunch, it was very important. There was myself, I kid you not at my desk, eat my sandwich, like as if I can't stop, you know, and I thought, Gosh, this is a really bad habit. Mary, where do you pick this up from? Like you said, Make time for self-compassion. You know, we've got to stay off our phones a little bit. Yeah, corporate needs to look at this, 

SM: You know, the vision would be to have self-compassion, you know, in organisation strategic plans. You know, I know, certainly, in my employee of the heart state university within the College of Nursing, wellness, and self-compassion is mentioned in the college's strategic plan, which is interesting. And it certainly shows the direction of travel in that organisation, which I was quite impressed with. 

DW: Absolutely. And I think in terms of the corporate world, they always talk about values and mission statements, and they're in I think, going to the values of an organisation and really living those values as a first step. And if self-compassion was one of the values then that flows through the whole organisation, because you use it for everything that you do. So that's a quick start already, like, not just having these values that they, you know, recite once a year when the auditor to like, really make that part of what people do like showing kindness to colleagues, those sorts of things being accountable, you know, that would really help.

MS: I think, to remember one thing if it nobody else remembers anything from this podcast that you said, you know, who can self-compassion benefit? Ultimately, everyone, and there is a need for education and training for these life skills. And this can be facilitated in a range of target populations.

CS: Thank you for listening to today's episode. You can find more information about our guests and a full transcription of the show on our websites. I would like to thank Dr. Martin Whiteford for his help with today's episode and This is Distorted.

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