What you’ll learn

  • The proven power of self-compassion
  • Give yourself the care you deserve
  • How to be a compassionate ally to yourself
  • Set and keep healthy boundaries
  • Self-compassion and mindfulness practices for self-soothing and stress relief
  • Recognize your self-defeating patterns and overcome them
  • Integrate self-compassion practices into your daily routines
  • Keep stress from escalating
  • Make mindful moments a self-compassion habit


With a Certificate of Completion, professionals can earn 2 units of Graduate-Level Professional Development Semester Units/Credits from University of the Pacific from Courses4teachers.*

Contents and Overview

This is a 9-week on-demand course that will help you become a compassionate ally to yourself. Drawing from neuroscience, psychology, education, medicine, and mindfulness, you’ll learn many mind and body practices, experience personal exercises and come away with your unique self-care plan.

This is an action-packed and thought-provoking course filled with self-compassion and mindfulness practices, incorporating the most evidence-based strategies and interventions available. Through guided practices using visualization, sensory awareness, touch, mindfulness, and meditation, you’ll make self-compassion an active practice.

In this course, any act or deed done on your own behalf, as well as any behavior change that supports your well-being and personal growth are considered under the umbrella of self-compassion and self-care.

This course was specifically designed for you to interact with the content, being an active learner rather than a passive listener. There are reflective prompts to get you thinking about the material and personal exercises and practices so you can apply the concepts to you and your situation. Each topic there has a brief summary of the relevant research, content information, and practices to use in daily life.

There are 9 sessions, each with a separate video. Each session video is approximately 1 hour and includes 5 to 11 short videos and lectures with PowerPoints and visuals. This makes it convenient for you to break up your viewing to meet your schedule.

These are the sessions and lectures covered in the course.

Session 1 Why We Need to Practice Self-Compassion

The 4 Ps of Progress: Purpose, Patterns, Practice and Perseverance

Our Brains Are Wired for Selflessness

What is Self-Compassion?

Three Core Components of Self-Compassion

Research on the Benefits of Self-Compassion

Latest Research Relative to Self-Compassion and COVID-19

How Self-Esteem and Self-Compassion Differ

Self-Compassion Practices.

Session 2 Cut Yourself Some Slack and Temper Your Inner Critic

What are you telling yourself?

Learn the Language of Self Support

How to Temper Your Inner Critic

Be Your Accepting Advocate Not Your Condemning Critic

Common Types of Stress Producing Self-Talk

Session 3 Set Healthy Boundaries and Take a Stand for Yourself

Embrace the Fierce Side of Self-Compassion

Know the Early Signs of Burnout

Why Healthy Boundaries Are an Essential Component of Self-Care

Set Healthy Boundaries

Learn to Say No

Session 4 Ditch your Downers to Combat Negativity

Countering Our Brain’s Negativity Bias

Happiness Setpoint

Increase Your Positivity Quotient to Counter Negativity

Proactive Practices to Establish a Positive Mindset

Why Putting a Smile on Your Face is Good for You

Practices to Get More Smiles into Your Day

Why Be an Optimist?

Research on Optimists vs. Pessimists

Session 5 Balance the Ebb and Flow of Emotions for Greater Well-Being

Emotions: Acceptance not Suppression

10 Reasons Why Suppressing Feelings Is Not Good for You

Anger and Your Body

Anger Impacts Women More than Men

Why Label Your Emotions

Purposeful Mantras to Interrupt a Negative Cycle

Practices to Get out of a Funk

Session 6 Embrace Positivity and Moments of Joy

Authentic Happiness

Moving from Authentic Happiness to Flourishing

Practices to Increase Positivity

Positive Emotions Create an Upward Spiral

Moments of Joy Can Coexist with Suffering

Positive Psychology Activities

The Power of Gratitude for Your Own Well-Being

Research Findings on the Benefits of Performing Acts of Kindness

Build on Your Character Strengths

Four Categories of Strengths: Cognitive, Social, Emotional, and Physical

Session 7 Manage Stress by Being Proactive

The Delicate Balance of Relaxation and Stress

Be an Early Responder

Learn to Read Your Body’s Stress Signals

Social-Emotional Effects of Stress

What Happens Under Chronic Stress

Build Up Your Defenses Against Stress

10 Instant Stress Busters and Why They Work

Simple Ways to Reduce Stress

Session 8 Mindfulness Practices for Self-Soothing, Relaxation and Stress Relief

How We Breathe

Breathing for Different Purposes

Four Ways to Practice Breathing

Mindfulness Practices for Reducing Stress

Progressive Muscle Relaxation (also called Tension-Release Relaxation)

The Benefits of Safe Touch

Self-Touch for Self-Soothing and Stress Relief

Stimulate the Vagus Nerve for Self-Soothing, Relaxation and Stress Relief

Havening Techniques for Self-Soothing

Our Mind-Body Connection is a Two-Way Street

Short-Term and Moderate Stress Can Be Useful

Session 9 Design Your Unique Self-Care Plan

Make a Self-Compassion Pledge

How to Build a New Habit and Break an Old Habit

Make Self-Care a Habit

How Long Does It Take to Create a New Habit?

Get Started Designing Your Self-Care Plan

Establish Daily Rituals and Set Intentions

Create Lists of Self-Care Acts

Take Moments of Self-Care

Craft Your Self-Care Plan

Select Your Priorities from a Review of the Topics Covered

Some Long-Term Self-Care Projects

Downloadable Additional Resources

Powerpoints for each Session

Over 50 Exercises and Practices to do on your own and share

Self-Acceptance Guided Meditation

Four Inspirational Poems about Self-Compassion

*To receive a Certificate of Completion:

You do the tasks and answer the questions in the Personal Exercises and Assigned Tasks. In many cases, the exercises have several steps and questions, but you are only required to respond to a specific question or step that is in the question space. If you are asked to write your answer in your journal, for this course, you would put your answer in the space provided. However, while not required, it is recommended that you keep your own journal with the responses to all the steps and questions in each Personal Exercise and Assigned Task. If you do this, you will have a complete set of responses to reflect on and revisit.

To earn 2 units of Graduate-Level Professional Development Semester Credits from the University of the Pacific, you will need to complete the registration form, pay the fee, and attach your Certificate of Completion online at Courses4teachers.

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