Welcome to this weekly online resource. Wellness professional Jo Foster, offers self care tips through her insights on mindfulness and positive psychology, her weekly online yoga classes and nutritious recipe recommendations. 

This week we are getting curious about the practicalities of mindfulness in daily life.

If you could give yourself a gift, what would it be?

When we gift to a friend it comes from a place of gratitude and love. As a friend you have no doubt on may occasions given your time and full attention to focus on the needs of someone else, in other words you have freely given compassion, appreciation where it was needed. 

How good are you at being a friend to yourself?

A true friend doesn't judge, they seek to understand and accept us in our human condition. So to be a supportive and good friend to yourself, you must pay full attention and develop an understanding of your needs.

This weeks exercise is focussed around challenging what you 'know' about yourself. We do this so that we may identify the gift that we really need. 

  1. Take no more than 3 minutes for this part of the exercise. Stick to this timing, it will encourage you to go with your gut instinct.

    • Think about a situation or experience that challenges you or concerns you.

    • Consider how you respond to these challenges; what are your behaviours and characteristics? Write these down for clarity.

    • Make sure you bring a balanced approach to this exercise, reflecting both your positive and negative attributes. For example, you may acknowledge things like "I care about others", "I procrastinate", "I don't sleep", "I have integrity", "I get angry". Write down all that you believe about yourself in this situation. 

  2. Time's up! Now read back over your list. Notice what thoughts go through your head and what you feel as you reflect on the statements you have made. 

  3. Now imagine that someone you love or a valued friend is facing the same challenge in the same way that you are. Imagine that they have done the same things and see in themselves the same characteristics. 

  4. What would you say to them? Write out some statements that you would say to this loved one who is struggling in the same way that you currently are.

  5. Notice the difference between the two sets of statements. How has compassion changed the statements? 

This exercise can teach us how to adopt self-compassion. It can feel uncomfortable and it may take time to believe in your re-written statements, but in times of challenge and change this can be a valuable tool in revealing the gift that we really need. 



Image by Hannah Busing

Thai fresh spring rolls by Spruce Eats

For me the hot weather steals my appetite (except for ice cream) and I need something light and fresh on my plate. This recipe might be a weekend labour of love and you may need to source a few obscure ingredients, but its worth it. I found this relaxing and satisfying to create and eating it felt like a gift, like I had done something special for myself and those that I shared it with.