I know when I hear the term self compassion I have flashbacks to SNL’s Stuart Smalley facing himself in the mirror saying himself “I’m good enough, I’m smart enough and doggonit, people like me!” but this is a simplistic view and really just captures a fear that being nice to ourselves is pathetic and sad. However I recently heard a metaphor that I think captures why self compassion is an essential trait for overall well-being. A friend told me a metaphor I thought was so apt. In the US, we have a culture of debt and spend money we do…

Mental hygiene is a collection of habits, practices and ways of being that maintain the health of your mind. As children, we are taught dental hygiene, but nothing about how to keep our minds healthy and fresh. As a child when I was sad, angry, or confused—I had no way out. I knew I was going to be lost in what felt like “the abyss” for awhile and so I avoided many feelings that I deemed negative because I didn’t know what to do with myself. And many well meaning adults didn’t know what to do either. During my childhood,…