You might think it sounds egoistic, self-centered, or posh, but self-love is a highly important part of mental and social well-being. Self-love means being able to mess up in life but not drowning in shame and self-hatred afterward. It gives us the possibility to try out new things while knowing that we will not think less of ourselves if we fail. 

A definition of self-love

Self-love, also described as self-care and self-compassion, means appreciating yourself, accepting yourself, and valuing your own well-being. It includes supporting your physical, psychological, and spiritual growth by listening to your needs and allowing all emotions (also the negative ones). Some also describe self-love as self-kindness, which means treating yourself with warmth, understanding, and forgiveness even when you fail or feel unworthy of love. 

How can you expect others to love you if you don’t love yourself? 

As social beings, it is not possible for humans to learn to love ourselves without input from others around us. However, in order to achieve the state of self-appreciation the inner, accepting, and self-loving voice has to be louder than the outer, denigrating, and perfectionism-expecting voice of the outside world. In this world that expects us to fail and keeps telling us that we are not good enough, it is difficult to keep the inner voice of self-love louder, but for the sake of your mental health and social well-being, it is crucial to appreciate yourself for the effort and to understand that perfectionism is no part of being human. This is an important aspect of self-love: Accepting that you are not perfect, because perfect does not exist in humanity. Understanding that your experiences are part of who you are, accepting them, and learning to appreciate them are of great importance to achieving self-compassion.

Self-love practices

For your mental health, it is important to understand what your self-love practices are like. The most direct way of achieving the state of self-love is via mindfulness: Mindfulness focuses on accepting your thoughts and feelings while avoiding getting stuck on or over-identify with negative or painful emotions. For yourself, you have to figure out what your way of appreciating yourself, caring for yourself, and loving yourself entails. Some common examples of self-love practices include listening to your own body, taking breaks from work or studying to move and stretch, putting the phone down and connecting to yourself or others, doing something creative, and eating healthily, but sometimes also giving in when craving your favorite foods.

So, do not settle for less than you deserve, and love yourself!

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