A Great Resource on Self-Compassion: “Give Yourself a Break” Book-Review

You can sometimes read articles about different therapies (CBT, for example) that put us into categories, with our spiritual health nowhere in the equation. “Give Yourself a Break: Turning Your Inner Critic Into a Compassionate Friend” stands out because the author’s been a marriage and family therapist by profession, and also has a Christian faith. I like Kim’s picture (in chapter 8) of writing on a blackboard things we have against ourselves, then imagining the Lord coming with a damp cloth and wiping it clean.

I’m glad I persevered beyond the first 2 chapters. There’s so much useful material in this book, it’s difficult to know what to mention and what to leave out. Kim defines self-care as being a good steward of ourselves, whilst being aware of the needs of others. She examines our areas of need (physical, spiritual, etc), different ways of dealing with our emotions, and some of the things that can stop us adequately caring for ourselves.

I would strongly recommend this book to anyone who’s ever suffered with anxiety or depression, to carers, and (strange as it may seem) to all parents, whatever your children’s age. There’s a lot in here about how parents’ coping strategies have an effect on their children, so the earlier you can start practising some of what Kim has to say, the better. Self-care is one of those topics that seems inexhaustible, and instead of trying to cover everything, she cites other books that may be of help. A useful resource for any bookshelf.

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