This morning, on the way out the doors, I lost my keys. I was holding them when I put my jacket on, but 30 seconds later they were… gone. As I frantically searched my messy kitchen counter and raced around the house, I said to myself: “Ugh. Come on, Emily. Get it together. Why can’t you do the simplest thing right?”

We’ve all been under a lot of pressure lately, and since we’re all human beings, we’ve all messed some things up. In stressful moments, it’s easy to beat ourselves up. Beat ourselves up in a way we’d never beat up a friend.

Here’s an easy way to be a friend to yourself. It’s called a self-compassion break. It seems kind of cheesy at first, but it really works. I promise, because I do it pretty much every day. Give it a shot next time you’re in a rough patch.

Four easy steps.

  1. Stop. Be still. Take a deep breath. I like to close my eyes and put my hands over my own heart.
  2. Acknowledge that life is hard right now. You can notice that, and not brush it off. I like to inwardly say to myself, “Ouch. This hurts.”
  3. Remember you’re not alone. Suffering is part of being human. Say to yourself, “Everyone feels this way sometimes” or “This happens to everyone.”
  4. Then, offer yourself a word of kindness. The kind you’d give a friend. “You’re doing the best you can.” “You’re great, just the way you are.” “You’ve got this.”

It takes 2 minutes, and it really helps.

Plus, it’s how God sees you. You are amazing, beautiful, and loved, just as you are. You’re human – not infinitely powerful or perfect – and that’s okay. Because God is.

Be kind to yourself today.