What is self-love and why should we value it?
Self-love, or self-worth, is the understanding that you are someone worthy of love and respect. It's not being vain, conceited, or egotistical. It is simply learning to have a healthy level of confidence in yourself. Self-love is essential because it gives you the courage to follow your dreams, wills you to try your best, and gives you the strength to work through failures.
How to cultivate self-love in your life:
- Focus on your positive qualities and what you love about yourself: Highlight your talents and strengths, and don't be shy to pat yourself on the back for them! Everyone has their unique skills – maybe you're a great listener or you're good at cooking. Maybe you have a lot of patience, which is helpful when dealing with challenging family members. Whatever it is, don't underestimate the importance of what you have to offer to others. You are special!
- Remember that no one is perfect: Acknowledge that everyone has their flaws and makes mistakes. It's important to understand that you aren't defined by your mistakes, so give yourself some slack when you mess up.
- Take care of yourself: When you feel good, it's easier to have self-love and appreciation for who you are as a person. Be mindful of your physical needs – eat healthy foods, exercise regularly, and get enough sleep. Don't be afraid to show affection for yourself either – take some time each day to pamper yourself, whether it's by taking a bubble bath or getting a pedicure.
- Practice mindfulness: Notice your thoughts about yourself and what you are saying to yourself inside your head. Identify any negative self-talk that may be holding you back from positive self-worth. Make an effort to replace this with something more positive.
- Make a list of your best qualities: Keep this list where you can see it often to remind yourself of your value and worth. Read it out loud to yourself on a daily basis if you have to!
Ways to practice self-care
- Make time for yourself: Take some time each day to relax, unwind, or have some quiet time alone. Give yourself permission to take the break you deserve.
- Ask for what you need: Neglecting your needs can lead to physical and mental health problems, so you mustn't be afraid to speak up when you need help with something. Whether it's asking someone to run an errand for you or just needing a little break, the most important thing is that you are making your needs a priority.
- Let yourself feel your emotions: Whatever it is, don't be afraid of your feelings. Crying is okay! Allow yourself to feel your emotions and express them. Once you acknowledge how you're feeling, don't be afraid to take action and deal with those feelings so they don't build up and affect other areas of your life.
- Learn how to be assertive: Part of self-care is knowing when it's okay to say "no" or ask for a change in a situation. Being assertive is a great quality to have, so work on mastering this skill and use it when you need to!
- Find your passion: What's something that you have always wanted to try? Something that really sparks your interest and gets you excited? If the answer is yes, then go out and do it! It doesn't matter what other people think – this should be for you and no one else.
Here are some examples of good self-talk:
- I like the person I am becoming.
- I can accomplish anything if I believe in myself.
- Negative thoughts lead to negative feelings which lead to unhealthy behaviors (such as eating unhealthy foods when you're feeling down).
- Go for a run instead of staying home and eating junk food.
You deserve to feel good about yourself and the things you do. It's okay not to be perfect, but it is important to take care of your mental health. Start by recognizing all the great qualities that make up who you are--things like honesty, sincerity, kindness, or creativity. Be proud of what makes you different from other people! When we're feeling happy with ourselves, we can show love for others more easily too. One way to start loving yourself a little more every day?
Spend time each day doing something nice for yourself--whether that means taking some time out in nature or reading a book alone at a coffee shop. The point isn't so much how or where as long as it feels right for YOU!