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Three Practical Ways to Be Kind to Yourself

It appears many of us are on the same journey, learning to be kind to ourselves. I’ve learned to try something different when the same things I’ve always done aren’t working. Has it worked for you to berate yourself? Has that allowed you to change? If not, it’s time to try something different.


As a follow up to my earlier post, How to be Kind to Myself, today I’m sharing three practical ways to be kind to yourself. It begins with changing the way you talk to yourself, and from there, beautiful things begin to flow. So, let’s dive right in.


1.  Change the way you speak to yourself.


This command is taken directly from Scripture. 2 Corinthians 10:5 says, “We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”


Pray. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you evaluate your thoughts toward yourself and take them captive! Ask God to replace those thoughts with His thoughts toward you. 


Start keeping track of those negative words and phrases that constantly try to tear you down and keep you living in shame. Number them and write them down on the front side of a sheet of paper. Then, pray and ask God what is TRUE about you. Flip that paper over, and on the back, write God’s response to each one of those numbers.


For example:

MY NEGATIVE THOUGHT: What’s wrong with you?

GOD’S ANSWER: Nothing is wrong with me! I have the mind of Christ. My body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. I have asked for wisdom, which God grants to all who ask, and I claim that wisdom now in Jesus’ name. (1 Corinthians 2:16 and 16:19; James 1:5)


When Satan tries to lie to you again through those names you call yourself or those negative phrases, remind him of who you really are in Christ. (I am NOT stupid. I have the mind of Christ!) Rewire your brain by taking those thoughts captive and handing them over to Jesus.



2. Ask yourself what’s really going on.


When you catch yourself in a negative behavior, instead of calling yourself names or dwelling in shame, ask yourself what’s really going on.


Here’s an example:

If you’ve eaten a whole bag of potato chips, put a stop to the accusations and compassionately ask yourself what’s really going on. Think of yourself like a friend you’re trying to help.


Hmmm… Potato chips? Let’s think this through. Salt, starch, and fat.


How have I been eating and drinking for the last several days? Was I running low on salt, starch, or dietary fat? My body needs all these things to function properly.


Fat is brain food. Have I had brain fog recently? Maybe my brain NEEDED some fat?

Starch provides energy. Have I been lethargic recently? Maybe my body NEEDED some energy.

Salt is necessary to prevent dehydration. Have I been light-headed or headachy? Maybe my body NEEDED some salt.


See? Ask yourself what’s really going on, with compassion, and then deal with the root issue. Once you have the answer, you can compassionately take steps to deal with what’s really going on in a healthy and positive way.


Let’s say you realize you’ve been dehydrated. Now you can get yourself an electrolyte drink, go for a walk to help your body release the excess sodium, and drink water for the rest of the day to help re-hydrate your body so you don’t ravenously eat potato chips to fill that need. The good news is you should have plenty of energy from the starches and clear thinking from the dietary fats to get that done!



3. Add GOOD things to your lifestyle.


So often, when we want to change, we start making an inventory of everything we need to remove from our lives. Like – That’s it! No more sugar for a week! Or, starting today I’m going to stop oversleeping! Or, I’m not going to spend any money for the next two weeks!


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Try these ideas instead.


  • I’ve been eating too much sugar. Maybe my body is craving fruit. I’m going to add fresh fruit to every meal for the next few of days to see if I can get that craving under control. I know fruit has a lot of carbs, but it also has a lot of fiber to help me digest the carbs, and it has a lot of nutrients that can improve my overall health. Plus, it’s delicious, and a lot healthier for me than candy that’s full of food dyes and refined sugar.  

  • I’ve been so tired in the morning, it’s hard to wake up. For the next few days, I’m going to treat myself like an adored toddler who needs extra attention. I’ll turn off screens at 8pm, then take a lavender-scented bath while listening to soothing music. After that, I’ll use a moisturizer with my favorite scent and drink a cup of chamomile tea. If I’m still not tired, I’ll read that non-fiction book I’ve been meaning to read until I get sleepy. That will probably help me fall asleep earlier than usual, plus, it’s something I’ll really look forward to, so I’ll actually do it.  

  • I’ve noticed I’ve been over-spending recently. I’m going to make a commitment to wait 48 hours before I buy anything that isn’t a clear necessity. If it’s online, I’ll put the item in my cart but not buy it immediately. If it’s in a store, I’ll put it on hold. Even if there’s a big sale that ends tomorrow, there will be another sale in a week or two. I’ll re-evaluate in 48 hours, and if I still think I should buy it, I will.


When you add good things into your life, it crowds out the cravings and sense of deprivation that leads to over-indulgence. It’s a basic act of kindness you probably wouldn’t think twice about doing for someone else. Why don’t we offer ourselves the same kindness we offer to others?


Lastly, be kind to yourself spiritually.

Stop worrying so much about your sin and add in more Jesus. Stop letting that sin that so easily besets you take up so much space in your mind. Add in more worship music, more prayer, and/or more time reading your Bible.


Adding in more Jesus will crowd out your desire for sin. It’s a simple act of kindness to yourself. Even if you’re living in deliberate sin and it feels like you need to avoid Jesus, press in. Don’t let Satan lie to you. You are deeply loved, and Jesus wants to hang out with you.


Give it a try.


If you’d like some deeper help with being kind to yourself, or you need help in a specific area, this challenge is one of the things I help people with through one-on-one coaching. We can meet in person, on the phone, or via video chat. Location is not an issue for me, and my hours can be very flexible.


You don’t have to stay stuck. I use a combination of proven coaching skills with Holy Spirit-led discernment to coach my clients. Email me at to get started.




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