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Natural Awakenings South Jersey

Be Your Own Friend Challenge

Sometimes it can feel so natural or easy to comfort a friend who has made a mistake. It also often feels so natural and easy to beat ourselves up when we make a mistake. Maybe we think that it doesn’t affect us the same way, or that somehow being mean to ourself doesn’t count as being mean. Maybe we think that it motivates us to try harder like an old school coach. In reality, self-criticism does affect us, especially by increasing our stress levels. Our bodies respond the same to an external threat as it does to one we have created in our thoughts. On the other hand, self-compassion is linked to lower anxiety and depression, and healthier behaviors like cutting down on smoking, making healthy food choices and exercising.   

Self-kindness involves recognizing that we are human and all make mistakes. It allows us to stop blaming ourselves for whatever didn’t go as planned, but also to grow and connect with others. When we can accept ourselves with our flaws and be vulnerable, others who have been feeling isolated with similar suffering can feel comfort and solidarity. It is from this place of acceptance and peace that we are all imperfect that takes us out of stress mode, allowing us to sit with the pain, and then learn and reframe it. Mindfulness practice as the nonjudgmental awareness of our thoughts can help us to start to recognize the negative self-talk as it comes up. Gratitude can help us reframe our thinking.   

Try this seven-day journal as a start to developing our inner ally. Start by self-supporting, just like we would do for a good friend.   


I commit myself to practice self-care daily by being kind and compassionate towards myself and deep in my heart accept myself in mind, body and spirit.   

I will allow myself a mind-space in the present moment, free of judgement, letting go of what no longer serves me. Instead, I choose to welcome healing, love and joy into my life. I am thankful for all that I have. 

Gratitude Journal Mindful Journal 

“I am grateful for ….” “I practiced presence today …” 

Day 1                                         Day 1 

Day 2                                         Day 2 

Day 3                                         Day 3 

Day 4                                         Day 4 

Day 5                                         Day 5 

Day 6                                         Day 6 

Day 7                                         Day 7 

Julia Snyder, M.D., specializes in Whole Person Care at Golden Light Integrative & Holistic Medicine. Location: 703 E. Main St., Moorestown. For more information, visit    


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