We are often told that we should practice self-love, but how many of us know what this means? According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, self-love is “proper regard for and attention to one’s happiness or well-being”. From this definition, we realise that it is a state of appreciation for oneself that grows from actions that support our physical, psychological and spiritual growth. When we operate in this love, we take care of our well-being despite other people’s opinions. If we truly love ourselves, then we will never settle for less than we deserve. Like happiness, the definition of self-love varies based on each individual because each person has a different way to care for themselves.
What does it mean to you?
Practising self-love can be challenging for many of us, especially in trying times. Figuring out what self-love looks like for you as an individual is an important part of your mental health. For starters, it can mean prioritizing yourself and your feelings. It can also include being kind and true to yourself as well as trusting and forgiving yourself. Additionally, listening to your body and setting healthy boundaries are two very important strategies, though they are often overlooked.
Acknowledging, accepting and being mindful of who you are will have positive and note-worthy impacts on your lives. For many, especially those who grew up in households that lacked love or love was conditional, loving yourself will take work. Self-love is a practice, and it’s a skill that takes work and dedicated time.
The Reason I Practice Self-Love
Personally, self-love is an essential aspect of my life. I find that I become easily overwhelmed with the workload and responsibilities that I have, both academically and personally. However, to aid in keeping a balance and not feel overwhelmed, I engage in my self-love regime daily. This includes talking to God, affirming myself, and taking much-needed breaks. I curate music playlists, journal, take at least ten minutes of my day to breathe. Taking care of myself is important to me because it allows me to be calm in a fast-paced world and it allows me to keep my mental and physical health in good standings.
An investment in yourself is one of the best investments you’ll ever make. Start my practising self-love. Be kind, patient and compassionate to yourself in the same way you would with someone else that you care about.