Quick question for my occupational therapists: do you want to implement mindfulness practices with your patients? Check out this guide to get you started on my top ten tips!

What is compassion? How can it change the world? Let’s start with the introducing the expert. This incredible woman has been a full-time caregiver to her husband, a victim of domestic violence, a single parent to four children, a widow, a divorcee, a step-parent and more.  Her husband was diagnosed with ALS when her youngest child was two weeks old.

The face behind compassion, Virginia Hunter Sampson received her J.D. degree Loyola Law School in Los Angeles. From litigator to judge, she now serves older adults and helps them with their legal issues.

Virginia’s professional and personal challenges have led her to discover the power of compassion to heal and thrive in life. That personal discovery led her to study the science of compassion, self-compassion, and happiness. She has quite an impressive resume. has written a book for adults, ‘Compassion Magic” and started a children’s series about compassion with “Superhero Sam Saves His Family”.  Virginia writes for Thriveglobal.com – the publication of Arianna Huffington. She travels nationally and internationally to speak about the power of compassion. She offers programs for individuals and small groups to assist them in developing compassion. Virginia provides information about the latest findings and research on compassion and happiness. She shares simple and scientifically proven practices for discovering the power of compassion to create success and happiness in businesses, schools, communities, families and even with our health and well-being. Here are some top takeaways from our chat in the Burnt Out to Lit Up podcast:

1. LESS JUDGMENT, MORE COMPASSION.

Turn around a negative situation to a positive one. For example, being a caregiver or healthcare worker carries heavy responsibilities. See what you’re going through as a part of life experience that others are going through too. Remembering or purpose in your role allows you to take a step back and find pride and joy in what you’re doing. Also, not letting negative, unhelpful feedback get the best of you. Within our culture, it is commonly accepted to judge and criticize people that we need to work to get away from. When you judge and criticize, you are already not practicing compassion. When we show it to ourselves, we can show it to others and be less likely to judge. We need to recognize there is not standard of being a perfect mom, caregiver, healthcare worker, etc.

2. SELF-COMPASSION IS A MUST FOR HEALTHCARE PROVIDERS.

Self-compassion is when you’re aware of when you become judgmental towards yourself. Be kind to yourself and find expressions and affirmations for yourself that make you feel good, which helps fill you up. When you practice self-compassion on a regular basis, it can build up your resilience in the face of stress. Forgiveness is an element of self-compassion- freeing yourself from being perfect with kind words, i.e. “I did my best today.”

3. HOW TO START PRACTICING SELF-COMPASSION.

Some strategies for self-compassion include recognizing moments of suffering that you have created around an experience. Notice how you’re feeling in order to heal yourself and move past it to prevent yourself from holding it all in and exploding at the end of the day. Keep it in perspective and then offer yourself some comfort. According to Virginia, these practices are evidence-based in building up self-compassion. If you’ve gone beyond the deep end and you’re having a breakdown, hug yourself. This is a practice that help in a time of crisis to release serotonin and start building you up.

Learn more about Virginia and her work and sign up to get monthly messages of compassion, healing, and self-care at: http://virginiahuntersampson.com


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