Importance of Self-Love

2 September 2022

August has come to an end, which means September is here. The start of a new month is always a good time to look back on the past month and set some goals for the new month. But before we do, let's take a moment today to show ourselves some love. Self-love is important for our physical and mental health.

Self-love is important for our physical and mental health. Our self-love leads us to treat ourselves with kindness and respect. We take care of our bodies and minds and do what makes us happy.

What is self-love?

Self-love can mean different for different individuals. Self-love is a state of self-worth that results from actions that support our physical, mental, and spiritual growth. Loving yourself means valuing your happiness and well-being.

Self-love means taking care of your needs without sacrificing your happiness to please others. Self-love can mean not settling for less than you deserve. Whatever it is, deciding what loving yourself as a person looks like to you is an important part of your mental health.

What are the benefits of self-love?

Giving yourself some love may help reduce stress and anxiety when you’re feeling trapped and self-critical. As you begin to love yourself and understand your self-worth, the minor problems or small setbacks that affect your mental health will gradually diminish.

As you learn to love yourself, you become more self-confident, and you are less likely to put yourself down. This boosts your motivation to do things but, with self-love, you don’t blame yourself when things don’t go as you planned. This is beneficial for you to achieve personal growth.

Self-love encourages you to nourish and care for your body & mind. You are motivated to value yourself through healthy lifestyle habits such as a proper sleep routine, regular exercise and consuming a healthy diet.

Tips for cultivating self-love

1. Overcome negative self-talk with self-reflection:

Every so often we catch ourselves critiquing our faults, or inabilities when comparing ourselves with peers whom we hold in high esteem. Should this habit persist, it may get ingrained into our everyday mindset and, without intervention, might grind down our confidence with every self-loathing remark we make about ourselves.

To overcome negative self-talk, we have to develop an awareness of our everyday behaviours. For this, we present a short reflective exercise you can do to understand yourself:

- Do you acknowledge your abilities?

- How do you approach failure?

- Do you give yourself a pat on the back when you achieve something, be it great or small?

Once you have answered these questions, take a look at your responses. Are you your cheerleader? Are you at least kind to yourself? Or, do you beat yourself up for your weaknesses?

Self-reflection is a good practice to examine your thought processes, and with awareness you can nip self-sabotaging behaviours and habits at the bud, before they really take root.

2. Practice mindfulness:

With self-reflection comes mindfulness: you become aware of what you think, feel and want. You are mindful of who you are and act on that knowledge, not what others ask of you. Only you can answer for what you want, yourself.

With mindfulness, you can start to become aware of your principles and values in life, which are intrinsic drivers in decision-making, and in choosing the path in life you will take.

3. Set healthy boundaries:

Once you are grounded with an understanding of yourself, it is then you can establish healthy boundaries. Ask yourself these questions:

- Do I have the capacity to do everything?

- How much of myself do I give to others?

Remember, you are only human. Sure, we would like to be superhuman, but that can only be arranged once we have had our needs met. That means, knowing when to say no when our hands our full.

4. Create self-care rituals:

With each accomplishment, remember to acknowledge the efforts you have put in. Rewarding yourself is positive reinforcement which will prime you to become your best self.

There are many different ways to engage in self-care rituals, and they can run the gamut from treating yourself to a spa day, to taking time off for a movie marathon by yourself or even with your loved ones.

Think of the hobbies you are passionate about.

What do you enjoy doing?

Whatever it is, remember what it comes down to: You have done a lot. Treat yourself.

5. Be compassionate towards yourself:

Waving away compliments can be a humble gesture, but done too often, it can become a self-sabotaging act as it can diminish your self-worth.

So let's do something good for ourselves today. Maybe we'll treat ourselves to a new book, go for a walk in the park, or write about five things we're grateful for. Whatever we do, make sure we show ourselves love.