Self-love is a term that has been thrown around a lot, but what does it actually mean?
As we all love in different ways, self-love can vary between individuals and therefore doesn’t have one simple definition that can be applied to all.
What can be said, however, is that without a good amount of self-love you may struggle to build healthy and long-lasting relationships in your life. Self-love allows us to be more confident in our actions and who we are, by helping us to decrease the amount of negative self-talk, people-pleasing or perfectionistic streaks.
On the whole, one could say that self-love is the act of loving, respecting and appreciating oneself.
Self-love comes in many shapes and sizes. We all love in different ways, hence the love we offer to ourselves will also be different. So, with that in mind, here are a few suggestions of what self-love may mean to you:
- Prioritising your needs
- Empathising with yourself
- Setting boundaries with yourself, loved ones and friends
- Believing in yourself
- Challenging or pushing yourself
- Trusting in your capabilities
- Being true to yourself
- Forgiving yourself
- Asking for help
Why self-love is important and how to cultivate it
Self-love is important for your physical and mental well-being and to create healthy relationships with the people you love and with yourself. By including some self-love into your daily or weekly routine, you can create a positive ripple effect in other areas of your life.
The way in which you can cultivate more self-love can be done in many different ways.
Being compassionate with yourself is a great place to start and a fundamental aspect of loving yourself.
How can you tell if you’re compassionate with yourself?
Consider the following questions: How do you treat a friend when they’re going through a tough time? Do you offer them comfort, love and attention? Most likely the answer is yes. Now consider how you treat yourself. Do you show up for yourself with kindness and respect when going through a difficult situation? If the opposite is true and you’re hard on yourself or tell yourself to “get a grip”, then try to keep the following sentence in mind: treat and talk to yourself as you would to your best friend.