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5 Ways To Practice Loving Ourselves

Turning Ideal into Action

By Ashley Geist, LPC-MH SupV, LPC, NCC, M.S.Ed.

We are often told that we need to love ourselves or love ourselves more, but that can be hard to conceptualize when we aren’t sure if we even like ourselves, or when the only examples of love that we’ve seen, haven’t been loving at all.


So how then, do we gradually learn to like, and eventually love who we are?  How do we treat ourselves with loving kindness?  Grab your journal and a pen and read on for some practical ways to begin speaking and acting with more love, towards ourselves.


1.    Begin By Asking, “What do I need right now?”

Sometimes we need a shower, a good meal, a good cry, an early bedtime, or all the above.  When was the last time you took a moment to truly ask yourself, what do I need in this moment?  This day?  This week?  This month?  The upcoming year?  Place one hand on your heart, one hand on your tummy, take a deep breath and ask. 


2.  Surround Yourself with Kindness

Think of a young person or child in your life.  What qualities would you hope they discover in their friends?  Kindness, humor, generosity, or wisdom?  The same qualities we wish for others are the exact same qualities that we should be surrounding ourselves with.  Take an inventory of the people you spend most of your time with.  Who influences you?  (Both in person and online.)  Are they positive, caring influences?  Do they empower, support you, and hold you accountable?  If not, it may be time to evaluate who you are spending time with, both in virtual and in-person spaces.


3.    Care For the Practical

It can be easy to overlook the practical, mundane, or everyday things of our lives, like our environments, doctor’s appointments, or what’s for lunch.  However, the everyday, mundane; the non-urgent, but important elements of our lives can have a big impact on how we feel and function in the world.  What non-urgent, but important task have you been putting off for too long?


4.    Practice Self-Compassion

Perhaps more important than a sense of love for self, is a sense of self-compassion; the ability to hold loving space, kindness, and grace for ourselves as we stumble, fail, or make mistakes.  Imagine someone you love going through a period of learning or struggle.  What might you say to support them?  What would it look like to write a note or letter to yourself expressing that same sense of belief and love? 


5.    Release What No Longer Serves A Purpose

Spring cleaning season isn’t just for objects.  What old hurts, patterns, or negative self-talk need to go to make room for the new in your mind and heart?  If you are reading this, now is the time to sit in some quiet reflection and ask, “What do I believe, say, do, or think, that no longer serves my greatest good and where I want my life to go?”  Second, ask, “What COULD I believe, say, do, or think that WOULD serve my greatest good and where I want my life to go?” 


Need more support in creating a life you are excited for?  Call The Support Circle at 605-845-2058 today, for a free 20 minute consultation to see if our therapists and services are a good fit for your needs.  Ready for more encouragement?  Visit for more information, past blogs, podcast episodes, self-guided workshops, and more!


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