During times of above-average stress, it’s natural to feel not just tired, but exhausted. As workflows change to meet a growing need, as providers worry about having the necessary resources to deliver the best possible care, as systems shift on a dime to launch innovative ways of working while respecting social distancing recommendations, no wonder so many of us are feeling the weight of the added pressure. It’s times like these when we most need compassion—not just for each other, but for ourselves.

If you’re one of the many who tend to be your own worst critic, here are some suggestions for how to engage in a little kindness toward yourself.

First, ask yourself, “Am I talking to myself the way I would talk to a friend?”

If the answer is “No,” it’s a clue that you’re being too hard on yourself. Try one or more of the following instead:

  • I’m doing the best I can, given the circumstances.
  • I can’t always control the outcome of a situation, but I can still feel proud of my efforts.
  • Even if things didn’t turn out perfectly, there might be something I can learn from the experience.
  • Just because I made a mistake doesn’t make me a failure as a person.
  • In spite of all the challenges, some things still went well today.

And now here’s your daily opportunity to take a short break to enjoy something simple and sweet, and not at all related to COVID-19:

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