Among the many things that are not treated with the value that they deserve, I would say that loving yourself ranks considerably high on that list.
Because it has become increasingly easy to notice the great things that other people have going for them.
Their smile, their talents, their social status, their relationships, their career, their material possessions—the list goes on.
But when it comes to yourself, can you recognize these things just as easily?
Maybe, maybe not.
For a little more clarity, try asking yourself if you:
Odds are, like most people, you know you have so much to offer the world. You are aware of your blessings, but sometimes you just can’t seem to give yourself the credit that you deserve.
That’s where self-love comes in.
Simply put, self-love is regard for one's own well-being and happiness. And what better way to show the importance of loving yourself than through 10 impactful takes on what self-love is and how it can change your life for the better?
Self-love is the moment-to-moment practice of accepting your flaws, shortcomings, and areas of growth. Embedded within loving yourself is the understanding that this practice is bound to fail: you can’t practice self-compassion all the time.
You’re going to find yourself thinking negative and judgmental thoughts about yourself, your body, and your behaviors—but the real key to loving yourself is approaching those shortcomings with warmth and understanding.
It’s the awareness and insight into how you are treating yourself coupled with choosing to practice more compassionate ways of being that creates an environment in which self-love can flourish.
Over time, these habits transform from conscious decisions to unconscious patterns that become part of who you are.
And it’s at that point—when loving yourself becomes effortless—that your perception of yourself and the world begins to change, creating space for resilience, intimacy, and authenticity.
You'd say self-love is one of those basic instincts we were all born with, yet so many times, I see people going through life with very little self-compassion.
Pulling incredibly long hours at work, eating junk food late at night, making all kinds of excuses for not nurturing the relationships that matter the most, and taking people for granted.
It's very easy to get angry at the world and turn against yourself or project those negative feelings onto others.
And that's the opposite of self-love.
Now I know many people would say, hey, you should love yourself more. But I don't think that's the real answer.
Loving yourself better is.
Quality over quantity, you know?
So for me, self-love is when I stop for a moment to give myself a hug, take the time to do something that I love without expecting anything in return, honor my body, get in touch with my feelings, and make conscious decisions that will benefit me in the long run.
You have to put yourself on your to-do list. Because it all starts with you. And when you think you are worthy, good things begin to happen in all areas of your life.
I struggled a lot in my younger years with depression. I thought life was unfair, and I was never happy with what I had. Finally, I realized that my negative thoughts and feelings were coming from my lack of self-love.
Things began to shift when I finally learned to love myself. I learned to put myself first.
Self-love means loving yourself–doing whatever it takes to treat yourself well and to prioritize yourself over others.
This means prioritizing your own dreams and passions rather than those of your friends, family, colleagues, professors, etc. I stopped listening to my parents and friends because frankly, I march to the beat of my own drum.
I’m on a road to personal development and it all started when I first learned to love myself. When I finally learned to love myself, I learned how to say “yes” to my goals and aspirations and “no” to other people’s.
Self-love is a daily part of my life.
It wasn’t always that way. Back when I was a solo mother of three young kids and then the step mum to four more, time out for myself was a luxury that I felt like I didn’t have time for.
Oh, I did the basics of booking for hair appointments and buying myself nice clothes, but loving yourself goes much deeper than that.
Self–love is about clear boundaries–loving yourself and accepting who you are. It is also about uncovering your limiting beliefs and digging into what makes you tick.
In 2009, I had a nervous breakdown, and it was in recovering from that that I realized that self-love is not a luxury that you squeeze into your day if you have time.
No, loving yourself is vital for your mental, physical and spiritual wellbeing.
There are a few self-love practices that I make time for every day now. Journaling is one of the main ones as it helps me to let go of so much crap in my head. Yoni eggs are also a fantastic addition to my self-care routine, so is chanting. Those are the practices I can’t live without and there are many more I could add to the list.
When you broaden your perspective and recognize why loving yourself is essential, you can become a more resilient, open-minded and self-compassionate version of yourself.
Here are 4 different ways you can broaden your perspective in challenging situations:
When you broaden your perspectives using these tips, you can be kinder and less judgemental towards yourself. Not only can you start loving yourself more, but you might even be able to deal with challenges with more calmness and clarity!
To me, self-care and self-love means taking accountability and responsibility for your own mental, emotional and physical health. It means loving yourself and ensuring that you invest time making yourself the best version of you that you can be.
We can’t support others if we’re not in great shape ourselves.
A great way to do this is to look at the world around you with fresh eyes. Often we’re chasing the next "big" pleasure or perceived act of self-love like a holiday or buying something nice, when in fact the small everyday pleasures are what make up our existence.
Spending time truly smelling and tasting your morning coffee, being really present when you’re with your lover, child, or best friend, even finding a small thing to enjoy about a boring task you’re doing, can make the world feel quite different, and bring us a sense of ease and joy.
Of course there are a million different ways we can also take care of ourselves, but relating to the world differently can be quite powerful.
My mission is to bring practical, useful and fun development suggestions and personal improvement ideas to those who are long on interest and short on time.
In line with this, my book, This is For You: A Creative Toolkit for Better Self-Care has finally been released—feel free to check it out!
Self-love is not something you do, it's a state of being. The concept itself is pure, beautiful and liberating, but our Western, obsessed with logic approach, has turned it into yet another chore.
We talk about self-love in in terms of "things to do". But true unconditional love has nothing to do with the doing. It's not about taking long baths or taking yourself out for dinner to appreciate yourself. It's living in a state of constant appreciation, and loving yourself no matter what happens.
Doing comes from the mind, love comes from the heart. So the only way to truly experience the practice of loving yourself is coming back to the heart.
No matter what happens, come back to the heart.
Close your eyes, place your palm over your chest and breath in and out of your chest. Let the emotions rise, and let them go. Be open to feeling what's there.
All that "doing" self-love, like repeating affirmations, giving yourself gifts, enjoying nice meals, it's all distractions from feeling the heart.
Loving yourself is way more simple that we make it to be. You already know it, because you are love. So simply come back to yourself.
“I will celebrate this life of mine, with or without you. The moon does not need the sun to tell her she is already whole”.
Self-love to me is being confident in oneself. It doesn't matter what other people think. What matters is what you feel about yourself, realizing that you are enough—that what you are doing and what you have is enough.
There is nothing more beautiful than when you finally recognize the beauty of loving yourself–when you prove to yourself just how strong and confident you are. You have this one life, but the question is, how do you want to spend it? Apologizing? Regretting? Questioning?
How about loving yourself and doing what makes your soul shine, something for you!
Something that gives you comfort and makes you happy and satisfied. You only have this one life, so why not make yourself proud?
Inner peace begins the moment you choose not to allow another person or event to control your emotions. You attract what you are ready for. Self-love isn’t selfish, it’s essential.
To me, self-love is a practice. It is something you work on every single day.
It is forgiving and loving yourself when you make mistakes, instead of punishing yourself for being human.
Sticking to habits that fuel your body and soul, even when it would be so much easier to skip them.
It is saying “thank you” when someone gives you a compliment, instead of demeaning yourself in response.
It is refusing to allow someone’s harsh words to define your worth, no matter how deeply those words may have cut you. Setting boundaries with those who hurt you, no matter how awkward or selfish doing so may feel.
It is pausing to observe the way you speak to yourself, and consciously replacing cruel words with compassionate ones. Acknowledging, feeling pride and loving yourself for your personal achievements, instead of constantly comparing yourself to others.
It is pushing yourself out of your comfort zone and taking courageous risks, even when it would be so much easier to play it safe. Honoring your softness and your gentleness, even though it’s far less vulnerable to appear hard and tough.
It is knowing that no matter how hard life may feel at times, you are worthy of love and abundance–and that the love that comes from yourself is what matters most of all.
Loving yourself is a daily journey of compassion that requires constant practice. But the more we practice, the smoother our journey will feel.
I'm not really fond of the term “self-love”.
It can be abused, and when taken to an extreme, it can be very unhealthy and destructive.
I prefer “self-respect”.
Respect is associated with values such as honesty and dignity. It is important because it affects everything from your personal relationships to the goals you end up pursuing and the decisions you end up making.
Self-respect is about considering yourself as someone worthy of love, respect, and fulfillment. You do not feel entitled to these things—you just feel you are enough to get them.
This feeling of worthiness makes you act in ways that are aligned with your well-being.
When you do that, not only will people notice that and admire it—not all of them, of course—but also your own mind will like the fact that you are taking care of it and encourage you to keep being this way.
One of the best ways to start developing self-respect is to set strong boundaries.
Those boundaries tell your mind that you care about it. That you recognize the importance of loving yourself enough to stand up for it. And you do have to stand up for yourself and protect your boundaries.
That is where assertiveness and boldness come into play.
They are important tools by which you demonstrate, to your own self, that you do respect yourself.
Self-respect is also about respecting other people. Assertiveness should not be used to disrespect people. Self-respect is about maintaining your own boundaries—it is not about violating other people's boundaries.