Studies show that small acts of kindness can have many positive effects towards better physical and mental health.  Kindness can contribute to increases in self-esteem, empathy, compassion while working towards decreasing loneliness and combatting low mood. For more information on specific studies, please see the references at the bottom of the article. Read on for information on how to incorporate more acts of kindness into your life, and some examples to get you started.

Incorporating Kindness into Your Life

Kindness is a habit that is incredibly contagious, and easy to incorporate into your life. Once you start, it becomes easier to continue.  Before you begin, reflect on your why.  What areas of your life can benefit from kindness and giving?  By beginning this journey, what are you giving to yourself and others?  Setting your intentions is beneficial as it gives you a starting point.  

New habits take time and it can be overwhelming if you start too big.  Starting with giving small compliments to family and friends and then working your way up to complimenting strangers is one example of how to grow the habit.

Most importantly, focus on giving without expecting anything in return.  You gain the most benefits from giving and random acts of kindness when going into it with the mindset of no expectations.

Examples of Random Acts of Kindness:

(All of these examples came from See their website for many more ideas)

  1. Donate used books to a library
  2. Leave quarters at the laundromat or vending machine
  3. Let somebody merge while in traffic
  4. Reach out to someone who is having a tough time
  5. Send an encouraging email to a colleague
  6. Write a handwritten letter and mail it
  7. Write positive messages on sticky notes and leave for others to find
  8. Challenge yourself to only write positive comments online
  9. Compliment with reckless abandon
  10.  Donate used towels or blankets to a shelter

Ready to start your kindness journey? You can reach us through our Contact Us page or by calling 513-846-5283 to get matched with one of our licensed therapists.  We look forward to working with you soon!


How much do you know about phobias and anxiety disorders?  The World Health Organization (WHO) recognizes anxiety disorders as the “world’s most common mental disorders” with roughly 4% of the global population being affected by one. Please see below for some definitions, examples on how these can affect mental health, and a brief overview of some of the treatment options.

Defining Phobias and Anxiety Disorders

The American Psychological Association (APA) defines:

A phobia as a persistent and irrational fear of a specific situation, object, or activity (e.g., heights, dogs, water, blood, driving, flying), which is consequently either strenuously avoided or endured with marked distress.


An anxiety disorder as any of a group of disorders that have their central organizing theme be the emotional state of fear, worry, or excessive apprehension.  This category includes, for example, panic disorder, various phobias (e.g., specific phobia, social phobia), and generalized anxiety disorder.  Anxiety disorders have a chronic course,and are among the most common mental health problems in the United states.  

As you can see from the definitions above, phobias are a type of anxiety disorder and just as you can have multiple, or comorbid, disorders, you can have multiple phobias.

How They Affect Mental Health

Anxiety is something that can affect anyone from time to time but anxiety disorders differ in the intensity and pervasiveness of the feeling.  For example, it is natural to get a little anxious when meeting someone for the first time.  Someone without an anxiety disorder may feel a little nervous but will still be able to get through the situation.  For someone with an anxiety disorder, who specifically does have problems with social situations, they could experience anything from physical symptoms to downright avoidance of the scenario in an effort to protect themselves.  These physical symptoms could manifest as racing pulse, nausea, irritability, rumination, and trouble concentrating, but this list is not exhaustive.  People suffering from anxiety disorders are at risk of depression and other disorders, if the condition goes untreated.  

Treating Phobias and Anxiety Disorders

There are two main avenues of treatment: exposure therapy and cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT).  Please see below for a very brief overview of each approach.

Exposure therapy is a treatment that was developed specifically to help people confront their fears.  This type of therapy aims to teach people how to start eliminating avoidance techniques so that they can start minimizing their fear response.  The role of the therapist is to “create a safe environment in which to expose individuals to the things they fear and avoid.” (APA, 2017) 

The four ways in which exposure therapy can be administered are:

  • In vivo exposure – directly facing a feared object or feared activity.  
  • Imaginal exposure – vividly imagining the feared object, situation or activity. 
  • Virtual reality exposure – using virtual reality technology to face the feared object, situation, or activity.
  • Interoceptive exposure – purposefully bringing on physical sensations that are harmless but related to the feared object, situation, or activity.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), as defined by the APA, is “a form of psychological treatment that has been demonstrated to be effective for a range of problems including depression, anxiety disorders, alcohol and drug use problems, marital problems, eating disorders, and severe mental illness.”  CBT utilizes techniques that help individuals learn to cope with and address the object of their fear and worry.  For more information on this therapy type, please see our Tabono Tidbit on CBT and DBT.

Whether you are ready to face your fears, or open up a conversation to discuss options, Tabono is here to listen.  To get matched with one of our licensed therapists you can call us at 513-846-5283 or reach out via our Contact Us page.  We look forward to hearing from you!


  • American Psychological Association. (2017a). What is cognitive behavioral therapy?. American Psychological Association.
  • American Psychological Association. (2017b). What is exposure therapy?. American Psychological Association.
  • American Psychological Association. (n.d.-a). APA Dictionary of Psychology. American Psychological Association.
  • American Psychological Association. (n.d.-b). APA Dictionary of Psychology. American Psychological Association.
  • Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. (2023, June 9). Specific phobias. Mayo Clinic.
  • World Health Organization. (2023, September 27). Anxiety disorders. World Health Organization. 

What is burnout?

While burnout is not currently classified as a medical condition, it is classified as an occupation phenomenon.  The World Health Organization defines burnout as “a syndrome conceptualized as resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed.  It is characterized by three dimensions:

  • Feelings of energy depletion or exhaustion;
  • Increased mental distance from one’s job, or feelings of negativism or cynicism related to one’s job; and
  • Reduced professional efficacy.”

Causes of burnout

Burnout can happen to anyone and there are usually multiple causes.  According to this list from Asana, here are some examples:

  • Little to no control over your workload.
  • Little to no recognition of a job well done.
  • Unclear job expectations.
  • Unreasonable or overly demanding job expectations.
  • High-pressure work environments.
  • Too much work-specifically when it leads to less time to do the things you enjoy outside of work.


If you think you may be experiencing burnout, start with these questions that the Mayo Clinic came up addressing some of the physical, mental and emotional symptoms:

  • Have you become cynical or critical at work?
  • Do you drag yourself to work and have trouble getting started?
  • Have you become irritable or impatient with co-workers, customers or clients?
  • Do you lack the energy to be consistently productive?
  • Do you find it hard to concentrate?
  • Do you lack satisfaction from your achievements?
  • Do you feel disillusioned about your job?
  • Are you using food, drugs or alcohol to feel better or to simply not feel?
  • Have your sleep habits changed?
  • Are you troubled by unexplained physical complaints?

If you answered yes to any of the above questions, you might be experiencing job burnout. Reach out to Tabono by calling 513-846-5283 or via our Contact Us page to be matched with one of our licensed therapists.  We look forward to hearing from you soon!


Back to school season can be a very stressful time for everyone involved.  From juggling supply lists to managing a household, it can get overwhelming very quickly.  With how hectic and busy this time of year can get, it is important to make a plan to prioritize mental health.  Just as you would start thinking ahead on when you will need your next physical or how much protein you really need in your diet, scheduling therapy appointments and prioritizing self-care is equally important.  Read below for some tips on how the whole family can get involved this school year.

Get Organized

Organization is key to successful navigation of school life and no particular method of organization is better than any other.  Getting organized now can contribute to an increased sense of control and set you up for more success going forward. The important part is finding an organizational system that works for you.  Paper planners offer a more kinesthetic approach but electronic planners offer the benefit of built in reminders and alerts.  Getting organized before things get too stressful or complicated with assignments and appointments, makes it more likely that you will continue using this system even if you hit a rough patch.  If you have kids, find a way to turn it into a game or a family activity so that they can be a part of things too.  

Self- Care

Make time for you. No matter what your age, taking a moment to yourself can improve your mood and decrease stress.  It does not have to be anything complicated.  Even just taking a few moments to take a few deep breaths can help you recenter yourself.  Here is a small list of self-care tips from PBS that are good for kids and adults alike:

  1. Take deep breaths when you need to reset
  2. Get silly
  3. Drink more water
  4. Be proactive
  5. Incorporate rest
  6. Get the wiggles out
  7. Write (or color it out
  8. Take a break
  9. Have a healthy snack
  10. Get clean
  11. Try affirmations

Utilize Your Support System

You are not alone and you do not have to tackle all of this stress by yourself.  Merriam Webster defines a support system as “a network of people who provide an individual with practical or emotional support.”  Support systems can consist of family members, friends, healthcare professionals, and even coworkers.  There are several different ways of building a support system.  This article, Developing Your Support System, from University at Buffalo School of Social Work offers some good tips on where to start as well as how to sustain the support you may already have.  A lot of these recommendations are great for kids too.  Teaching kids the importance of communication and reaching out with help give them the skills to manage their own support systems as they grow older.

Back to school time is stressful but it does not have to stay stressful.  Please reach out to us via our Contact Page or call us at 513-846-5283 to get matched with one of our licensed therapists if you are feeling the effects of back to school stress.  We are here to listen and look forward to assisting you soon.


Butler, L. D. (2023, February 21). Developing your support system. University at Buffalo School of Social Work – University at Buffalo. 

Craig, K. (2023, April 25). 11 simple self-care habits for kids. PBS. 

Merriam-Webster. (n.d.). Support system definition & meaning. Merriam-Webster. 

Puspita, T. (2022, January 17). Mental health benefits of staying organized – workplace options. Workplace Options. 

June is Pride Month, but did you know that it is also Men’s Health Month?  Since 1992, June was dedicated as Men’s Health Month to shed some light and awareness on a population that struggles with speaking up.  With this article, we will be discussing specifically how mental health affects all men while providing some helpful definitions, facts and statistics, and how to support the men in your life.


Before we get into any statistics, we will start with a few basic definitions. 

  • Cisgender –a person whose gender identity corresponds with the sex the person had or was identified as having at birth.
  • Transgender –a person whose gender identity differs from the sex the person had or was identified as having at birth.
  • Transmasculine –person whose gender identity is partially or fully masculine and differs from the sex the person had or was identified as having at birth.

For the purposes of this article, we will be using “men” as the blanket term to refer to all cisgender men, transgender men, transmasculine individuals, and any other person who identifies with masculinity. Please note that while we are using “men” as a blanket term, it is important to remember that gender is personal to each individual and not everyone will identify with the label of “man.”

Facts and Stats

  • In general, the high societal pressures associated with “manliness” and “masculine norms” can lead to a worsening of depression and anxiety, substance abuse, greater physical health risk, issues with dating and interpersonal violence, increase in psychological distress, discouragement in seeking help, and homophobia (Chatmon, 2020).
  • More than 6 million men in the U.S. suffer from depression and suicidal thoughts each year.
  • Suicide, as a cause of death for men has been rising since 2000.
  • Men are 3 times more likely than women to commit suicide.
  • According to the 2015 U.S. Transgender Survey conducted by the Williams Institute, transgender individuals face additional risk factors, compared to their cisgender counterparts, that contribute to higher rates of suicidality.
  • When speaking on men’s health, there tends to be a hyperfocus on sexual health and a huge deficit in support and awareness in other areas.
  • Lower testosterone is correlated with depression, stress, and mood swings (especially among older men).
  • Men are less likely than women to seek help due to a disparity in social norms, a tendency to downplay symptoms, and a reluctance to talk.

How to Support

Normalize speaking about mental health. Whether it be sharing how you are feeling, or asking others how they are doing, this provides a safe space for others to begin talking about how they feel.

Engage in active listening.  Showing someone consistently that you are willing and able to listen without judgement can ease the burden of suffering in silence and demonstrate that there are people out there who are willing to take the time to listen. For a refresher, check out our Tabono Tidbit on Active Listening.

Encourage self-care and self-love.  There is still a huge stigma surrounding men taking care of themselves, but self-care and self-love are good beginning steps towards better mental health.  Take a look at our Tabono Tidbit on Self-Love for some tips on how to practice.

Reach out to professional help.  Therapists are specifically trained to help and assist in these matters.  In the same way that you would go to a medical doctor for any physical health concerns, therapists are there for all of your mental health concerns. 

Help break the stigma surrounding men’s mental health and reach out to our licensed therapists via our Contact Us page, or by calling 513-846-5283.  We are here to listen and ready to help.


Chatmon, B. N. (2020, August 19). Males and mental health stigma. American journal of men’s health. 

Herman, J. L., Brown, T. N. T., & Haas, A. P. (2019, September). Suicide Thoughts and Attempts Among Transgender Adults: Findings from the 2015 U.S. Transgender Survey. UCLA Williams Institute.

Infographic: Mental health for men. Mental Health America. (n.d.). 

Merriam-Webster. (n.d.-a). Cisgender definition & meaning. Merriam-Webster. 

Merriam-Webster. (n.d.-b). Transgender Definition & meaning. Merriam-Webster. 

Merriam-Webster. (n.d.-c). Transmasculine definition & meaning. Merriam-Webster. 

Todd, J. (2022, July 5). Men’s Health: It’s actually less about men, and more about health. Brattleboro Memorial Hospital. 

Even under the best of circumstances, pregnancy and childbirth are incredibly stressful events that leave a large impact on all involved. These are events that most commonly bring love, joy, and happiness but that is not the case for all new parents.  Talking about complicated negative emotions surrounding childbirth does carry stigma, and drawing awareness is the first step in combatting them.  This article aims to provide some basic education on what peripartum depression is, who may be at risk, signs, and symptoms, as well as, when to get help.

General Definitions

To better understand peripartum depression, it is important to keep a few terms in mind.

The “baby blues” are a period of depression, anxiety and moodiness that occur after childbirth, beginning the first few days after childbirth and can last for up to a few weeks. estimates that up to 70% of people will experience the “baby blues” after giving birth, marking this as a very common occurrence after giving childbirth. 

Postpartum depression is any depression occurring after childbirth that involves intense feelings of sadness, anxiety, or despair that interfere with daily tasks. It can start up to 1 year after giving birth but generally will start about 1-3 weeks after childbirth. This has been the most common term in use, but peripartum depression is the most accurate term currently, as it covers depression during and after pregnancy.

Peripartum depression, sometimes noted as perinatal depression, is depression occurring during pregnancy or after childbirth that involves intense feelings of sadness, anxiety, or despair that interfere with daily tasks. This can start anytime during pregnancy or after birth up to 1 year afterwards. estimates that roughly 1 in 7, or about 15% of pregnant individuals experience peripartum depression. 

What Causes Peripartum Depression

Just like non-pregnancy related depression, peripartum depression can be caused by any combination of factors.  This list includes some of the most commonly known causes as a starting point.

  • Hormone changes involved with childbirth
  • Sleep deprivation
  • Stressful life events
  • Feelings of doubt
  • Emotions involved with difficult pregnancies
  • Prior history of depression
  • Fatigue
  • Lack of social support
  • Grief of loss of prior sense of self
  • Unrealistic parenting expectations

Who is at Risk

Any pregnant individual, during pregnancy and after childbirth, carries the risk of developing peripartum depression but there are certain circumstances that can increase that risk.  Additionally, while there is not as much research on this topic yet, partners who are not pregnant or who have not given birth, are also at risk of developing peripartum depression. Risk factors can vary based on age, race/ethnicity, and other categories, so here is a short list of some of the most common risk factors.

  • Having a history of mental illness
  • A family history of mental illness or peripartum depression
  • Being under the age of 20 during pregnancy
  • Having an unplanned or unwanted pregnancy
  • Substance abuse
  • Changes in medications
  • Lack of social support

Signs and Symptoms

Only medical professionals and mental health professions can appropriately diagnose peripartum depression, but there are still many signs and symptoms that you can look out for and make note of. breaks these down into 4 subcategories: emotional signs, mental signs, physical signs, and behavioral signs.  Please see below for their comprehensive list.

Emotional Signs

    • Excessive crying for long periods for seemingly no reason
    • Drastic mood swings
    • Easily agitated or irritated
    • Intense anxiety, worry, and fear that hold the individual back from performing daily tasks
    • Expressing feelings of shame, guilt, or hopelessness
    • Describing feelings of extreme sadness and despair
    • Thoughts of suicide or suicidal ideation

Mental Signs

    • Difficulty focusing and concentrating
    • Forgetfulness
    • Distractedness
    • Feelings of worthlessness
    • Increased indecisiveness
    • Feelings of doubt and blame

Physical Signs

    • Headaches
    • Muscle aches and pains
    • Stomach pains
    • Chronic fatigue
    • Loss of energy
    • Eating too much or too little
    • Sleeping too much or too little


When to Get Help

If you or a loved one feels that you may be suffering from peripartum depression, it is important to get help right away.  It is recommended to not just wait for your next healthcare appointment and instead, reach out to your healthcare team as soon as possible for diagnosis and treatment options, which may include medication and/or talk therapy.  Make a list of all the symptoms you’ve observed and how long they have been present as this information will assist your healthcare team in assisting you.

You do not have to suffer in silence.  Peripartum depression is not a normal part of pregnancy or childbirth, and we are here to listen and help.  You can reach us through our Contact Us page or by calling us at 513.846.5283.  We look forward to meeting you soon!


Carberg, J. (2022, September 30). Helping women with postpartum depression. Retrieved April 20, 2023

Postpartum depression. Postpartum depression | Office on Women’s Health. (2021, February 17). Retrieved April 20, 2023

Postpartum depression. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. (2021, December). Retrieved April 20, 2023

Torres, F. (2020, October). What is peripartum depression (formerly postpartum)? – What is Peripartum Depression (formerly Postpartum)? Retrieved April 20, 2023

Merriam Webster defines listening as “paying attention to sound, hearing something with thoughtful attention/giving consideration.” Active listening takes this a few steps further.  Active listening involves being fully present in a conversation while offering a level of engagement that makes the other person feel heard and seen.  As recommended by, the key to this can be broken down into 3 categories: Show You’re Listening, Encourage Sharing, and Strive to Understand.

Show You’re Listening

Showing that you are listening is an important first step in showing someone that you are actively listening to what they have to say. There are 2 main ways to illustrate this:

Put Away Distractions

Looking at your phone and/or getting involved in other things while trying to listen to someone can give off the impression that you do not care about what they are trying to say.  Being involved with these types of distractions can make it difficult for you to pay attention to what is being said or impact your ability to stay engaged.  So, when you are practicing these active listening skills, put away your distractions.


Use Verbal and Nonverbal Communication

Body language and small verbal cues visibly and audibly communicate to the speaker that you are listening.  First try making eye contact with the speaker.  If eye contact is difficult for you, instead try looking at their forehead or chin.  It gives the speaker the same visual effect of being visibly paid attention to while diminishing the discomfort that some may feel with direct eye contact. 

Small verbal cues demonstrate that you are listening without the intent to speak over.  Essentially, using phrases like “I understand”, “that is interesting”, and other phrases to express your engagement and interest in the conversation help the speaker recognize your willingness to listen.

Encourage Sharing

Engaging with the speaker, asking them questions, and summarizing back to them what you have heard demonstrates that you are absorbing what they are saying and that you want to hear more about what they want to say.

Ask Open-Ended Questions

Open-ended questions encourage the speaker to elaborate more on the topic and indicate to the speaker that you are interested and would like to know more.  Try asking things like “Can you tell me more about…?”, “How are you feeling about this?”. Invite the speaker to give you more information so that you can learn more about what they are talking about.


Use Reflections

Show you are listening by summarizing back what you have heard in your own words.  For example, if someone is telling you about something they spoke about in therapy, you could say something like “It seems like this was a really big moment for you and it seems like you are putting in a lot of work on this.” This is an opportunity to empathize with what the speaker is saying and show your understanding.

Strive To Understand

Lastly, it is time to bring all the previously mentioned skills together to demonstrate your understanding of what is being said. 

Be Present

Focus your attention on being mentally and physically present without focusing on what you are going to say next.  With active listening, you are free to sit back and absorb without always having your next response prepared.  The speaker will be appreciative of your presence and willingness to listen.


Listen With an Open Mind

This is a time for you to listen without judgement.  Strive to better understand the person’s point of view, even if it may be something that you disagree with.  Your opinions and feelings will always be valid, and with active listening the goal is to wait to form those opinions until after you have fully heard and engaged with what the speaker has said.  After all, engaging in active listening encourages others to respond in kind and it does feel good to be heard and listened to without judgement.

Looking to practice those active listening skills or having someone actively listen to you?  We are eager and happy to help.  Reach out to us via our Contact Us page or give us a call at 513-846-5283.  We look forward to hearing from you soon!


Fitzpatrick, M., & Fitzpatrick, M. (2014, August 22). Ditching our distractions: The importance of active listening. Forbes. Retrieved March 24, 2023

Merriam-Webster. (n.d.). Listen definition & meaning. Merriam-Webster. Retrieved March 24, 2023

Nordquist, R. (2019, January 6). The critical role of listening in the communication process. ThoughtCo. Retrieved March 24, 2023

Therapist Aid LLC. (2020). Active listening: Communication skill (worksheet). Therapist Aid. Retrieved March 24, 2023

Self-harm while most associated with physical self-harm, can manifest as emotional self-harm too.  Physical and emotional self-harm are both used as coping strategies to process complex emotions, cope with trauma, or provide some sense of relief.  Read below for 3 examples of what emotional self-harm can look like and recommendations on how to work through them.


As a coping mechanism, and form of self-harm, avoidance can easily give problems more space to grow as it reduces stress in the short-term while allowing more anxiety, higher levels of stress than the initial stressor, and can create conflict within any relationships in the long-term. defines avoidance as “the practice or an instance of keeping away from particular situations, activities, environments, individuals, things, or subjects of thought because of either (a) the anticipated negative consequences of such or (b) the anticipated anxious or painful feelings associated with those things or events.” 

Replacing avoidant patterns with active coping mechanisms is a method that involves learning to recognize your triggers and developing plans to address stressors.  Some good ways to reflect on triggers include journaling and meditation.  When developing your action plans, talk with your therapist to gain additional support and insight.  Once you have your plans in hand, reach out to your support network for additional help and accountability.


Perfectionism is a trait that exists on a spectrum and there is no such thing as a perfect perfectionist person. defines perfectionism as “the propensity to require of other people or of oneself a greater degree of performance than is mandated by the scenario.”  In smaller doses, perfectionism can be a good thing.  For example, taking the extra time to tidy your house a specific way or paying extra detail to a project can be considered a good thing.  However, putting the requirement on yourself to keep your house perfect every single day or taking more hours than necessary to go above and beyond on projects can be unstainable and harmful.

Working through the self-doubt and self-criticism of perfectionism involves techniques that encourage flexibility and compassion. Your therapist can teach you a variety of skills and coping mechanisms derived from dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT) and cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) that can help dismantle the perfectionist mindset.  For more information on CBT and DBT, check out our Tabono Tidbit: CBT vs DBT.


Narcissism can exist as a personality trait or as a personality disorder. Cambridge Dictionary defines Narcissism as “too much interest in and admiration for your own physical appearance and/or your own abilities”,  While narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) is characterized by a lack of empathy, a strong need for admiration, and a pervasive pattern of grandiosity.  The presence of narcissism as a personality trait does not automatically that you have NPD.

Narcissism exists on a spectrum, and just like perfectionism, can be helpful in small doses.  It becomes a problem when self-love becomes closer to self-obsession or self-absorption.  Narcissism becomes a tool for self-harm when it impacts relationships by diminishing empathy for others or even impacting yourself by turning this self-love into something bordering on a perfectionistic and toxic mindset. 

Talking to your therapist and coming up with a plan to address unhelpful and self-harming narcissistic thoughts is a great step in working through the damage that is being done.  Like perfectionism, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT) techniques are common treatments for tackling unhelpful narcissism.  For some examples of healthy ways to practice self-love before your next therapy appointment, take a look at our Tabono Tidbit: Self-Love.

Help is just a conversation away and we are here to listen.  Take the first step by reaching out to speak with one of our licensed therapists through our Contact Us page, or by calling us directly at 513-846-5283. We look forward to hearing from you soon!


Ball, T. M., & Gunaydin, L. A. (2022). Measuring maladaptive avoidance: From animal models to clinical anxiety. Neuropsychopharmacology, 47(5), 978–986

Greenspon, T. S. (2014). Is there an antidote to perfectionism? Psychology in the Schools, 51(9), 986–998

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Narcissism. NARCISSISM | definition in the Cambridge English Dictionary. (n.d.). Retrieved February 28, 2023

Ong, C. W., Lee, E. B., Petersen, J. M., Levin, M. E., & Twohig, M. P. (2021). Is perfectionism always unhealthy? examining the moderating effects of psychological flexibility and self‐compassion. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 77(11), 2576–2591

Pietrangelo, A. (2020, December 11). What therapy for narcissism involves: Steps and what to expect. Healthline. Retrieved February 28, 2023

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Sussex Publishers. (n.d.). Perfectionism. Psychology Today. Retrieved February 28, 2023

Many cultures and societies have different ways of expressing and thinking about love.  In ancient Greece they had 8 different words to discuss different types of love.  Eros referred to romantic and passionate love while Philia meant affectionate love or friendship.  Agape is selfless universal love, Storge is familiar love or love of family, and Mania was obsessive love.  Ludus was playful love and Pragma means enduring love.  The type of love that we are going to explore today is Philautia, or self-love.

Definitions of Self- Love

According to Merriam-Webster, self-love can be defined as “1) An appreciation of one’s own worth or virtue and 2) Proper regard for and attention to one’s own happiness or well-being.” In short, it is the art of accepting and recognizing yourself.  There are many ways to start your self-love journey and below we have put together some ideas to get you started.

How to Practice

There are a multitude of ways to practice self-love.  The examples below are merely a starting point as you work to find the ways that ultimately work best for you.  So try a few out and see how they feel.  These are all designed to help you better practice self-love of your mind and body.

  1. Give Yourself Permission to Love Yourself

    This is an important starting point.  With work, stress, and any number of societal stressors and pressures, when was the last time that you felt that you were allowed to love yourself?  Have you ever given yourself permission to do so?  Giving yourself permission to feel that you are allowed to love yourself, can allow you to push past that initial barrier of self-doubt.

  2. Find More Reasons to Laugh

    Laughter can be a powerful medicine.  Physically, and mentally, it works to soothe tension, offer some pain relief, improve your mood, and assist your immune system.  Laughter leads to positive thoughts which can trigger a chemical response in your body that works towards fighting stress. 

  3. Declutter

    Declutter your physical surroundings and online surroundings.  Tidying up your physical space can help improve mental space.  Working in a cluttered environment can lead to an increase in stress and a decrease in focus and mental energy.  Tidying up, even just a little, can help provide some breathing “room”, pun intended.

    If you have social media, when was the last time that you went through and really looked at what you were looking at?  Are there certain topics or friends on there that are only stressing you out?  Are there different sites that only cause you stress every time you log on?  If so, its okay to cut all that loose.  If it makes you unhappy and less satisfied with yourself, give yourself permission to say goodbye to that.

  4. Make a List

    What are some things that you love about yourself?  It is all too easy to think about the things that we dislike about ourselves mentally and physically but harder to stop and think about the things we actually like.  When you make your list, it does not have to be a long one.  Start small.  Try writing 3 things that you like about yourself.  The trick is making sure that you are writing things without qualifiers.     

  5. Celebrate You

    Find what makes you happy.  Take yourself out on a date to your favorite restaurant or find a park that makes you smile when you see a particular view.  Take some time to read a book and enjoy some self-care.  Whatever it looks like for you, find ways to recognize and acknowledge the greatness of you.  You are worth it.

Wherever you are on your self-love journey, our licensed therapists are here to listen and assist in any way they can.  Call us at 513-846-5283 or check out our Contact Us page and we will respond as quickly as possible.  We look forward to meeting you!

A, G., Gct, Martin, N., Antonopoulos, P., Bureau, A., & Mazonakis, S. (2020, February 14). The 8 ancient greek words for Love. Greek City Times. Retrieved January 17, 2023

Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. (2021, July 29). Stress relief from laughter? it’s no joke. Mayo Clinic. Retrieved January 17, 2023

Merriam-Webster. (n.d.). Self-love definition & meaning. Merriam-Webster. Retrieved January 17, 2023

Nyx, J. (2022, November 3). 34 ways to practice self-love and be good to yourself. Lifehack. Retrieved January 17, 2023

Welcome to the New Year!  This can be an exciting, and sometimes stressful, time of change and new beginnings.  Many people will take this opportunity to create resolutions and goals to influence themselves through the rest of the year.  Goals come in different shapes and sizes and there are equally as many reasons to make them.  Knowing how to create strong goals, is the first step in achieving them.  Please read below for tips on creating strong goals and an example to help you get started.

Making SMART Goals

According to Merriam-Webster, a goal is “the end toward which effort is directed.”  There are many ways to create goals and one common technique is the SMART method.  SMART is an acronym that first appeared in the journal, “Management Review” in 1981.  The SMART method stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time bound. 


Define your goal and make it specific.  This will help keep you focused and prevent you from being overwhelmed.

Example: I will prioritize consistent self-care.



Define how you will track progress.  After defining your goal, what will your milestones look like?

Example: I will do a minimum of 3 self-care activities each week.



Make goals that make sense for where you are right now.  Your goal should be something that you can reasonably accomplish.

Example: I currently practice self-care on an inconsistent basis and have the time and ability to practice more consistently.



What is your reason for making this goal?  Goals work best when they align with your values and long-term objectives.

Example: I want to better focus on myself and my mental wellbeing.


Time Bound

What is a realistic timeline for this goal?  Is it weeks, months, or even a year from now?  Once you find the answer, physically put the goal date on your schedule as a visual reminder.

Example: I will commit to this plan for 1 month.  Once this time frame has been completed, I will reflect on my progress and prepare my next goal.

It can be hard to make and keep track of goals, but that does not mean that you are alone in getting back on track. If you are looking for help with your goals, our licensed therapists are ready to help.  Call us at 513-846-5283 or check out our Contact Us page and we can help you get started.

Guide on how to write smart goals (with examples). (n.d.). Retrieved December 20, 2022

Merriam-Webster. (n.d.). Goal definition & meaning. Merriam-Webster. Retrieved December 20, 2022

The New York Times. (n.d.). How to make (and keep) a new year’s resolution. The New York Times. Retrieved December 20, 2022