Developing compassion takes time and practice but if we start small and be patient with ourselves our compassion will grow. Compassion is like a muscle and the more we exercise kindness the stronger the muscle will grow.
Here are some ideas to get us started:
Practice Self Compassion:
- Be kind and gentle with yourself by practicing the same compassion to yourself as you would others. Take care of yourself by doing self-care activities that support your physical and mental wellbeing.
Widening our circles of compassion
- Listen actively: Listen to others without judgement or interruption. Try to understand what they are saying and respond with empathy and kindness.
- Do a Simple Act (read all of our simple acts ideas here) help you to better understand different perspectives and to grow your compassion for people who are different from you. If you do something nice for someone else, even if it’s something small you can feel more connected to others.
- Volunteer: Find a cause that you care about and volunteer your time and energy to help others. See the positive impact you can have!
Our more than human neighbours
Growing our compassion for the natural world can be a fulfilling and meaningful journey. Whatever we’ve been through, nature can calm and ground us, and help us believe that new beginnings are possible. Reconnecting with the earth can also help us remember our place in the natural world, rediscovering that we are part of nature, and it is part of us.
Here are some ways to help you cultivate this:
- Spend time in nature: Spending time in natural settings like parks, beaches, forests, or mountains can help us develop a deeper appreciation for the natural world. Take time to notice the beauty around you and reflect on how everything is interconnected. Focus on the sensations of being outdoors, like the feel of the wind, the sound of the birds, or the warmth of the sun.
- Discover an activist or movement: People in the majority world are most affected by climate change, and industrialised societies have much to learn from indigenous cultures about sustainable ways of living. Find out about a climate activist, platform or movement you didn’t know about before: Mikaela Loach, The Climate Propagandist, Celine Semaan and Slow Factory, Future Earth Foundation, Peaks of Colour, Intersectional Environmentalist, Zahra Biabani and more!
- Take action! Get involved with local or national environmental organizations and help spread awareness about issues like climate change, climate migration or wildlife conservation etc.
Share ways you’ve grown your compassion with us on social media using #SimpleActs #CompassionintoAction #RefugeeWeek
If your social media post includes images or names of other people, make sure you get permission first, including from parents/ guardians of anyone under 18.
Grow Your Compassion is one of ten Simple Acts you can do for Refugee Week 2023. To view them all, visit the Simple Acts page.