Simply put, self-love is the deliberate act you make to provide compassion and care of yourself.
Many people have the misconception that self-love is limited to taking a weekly bubble bath or spending a day at the spa.
However, self-love is so much more.
On a deeper level, self-love includes making your well-being a priority.
Self-love involves asserting boundaries, trusting yourself, and developing an overall connection to yourself.
Self-love also includes prioritising rest when you need it and talking kindly to yourself.
This might not be common knowledge but how you take care of yourself can contribute greatly to your happiness.
When you put yourself last, you are subjecting yourself to increased stress and anxiety.
You can also feel overwhelmed and depleted, and overall more unhappy.
Here’s an unfortunate truth: many people feel guilty about choosing themselves first.
However, self-love is critical to your growth and increased happiness.
And that’s just for starters.
Why Self-Love is Critical to Your Happiness
Reason 1: Self-Love Liberates You From Comparisons
When you compare yourself to others, you are setting yourself up for failure.
If you truly love yourself, you are aware that comparison won’t make you feel good, so you avoid it at all cost.
When Teddy Roosevelt referred to comparison as the thief of joy, he was absolutely right.
How many times have you envied and compared yourself and your life to those who flaunt and brag about their seemingly perfect lives on social media?
It is important to remember that what you see may not be a true reflection of what is going on behind closed doors.
So stop comparing yourself to others, especially those people on social media.
When you buy into the feeling of inferiority through comparisons or when you embrace that the “grass is greener on the other side” mentality, you do nothing but invalidate your own achievements and gifts.
Also once you truly learn to love yourself, you will never feel the need to compare yourself or your life to others because you know you are good enough.
Reason 2: Self-Love Helps You Align with Your Values
What do you value?
Family? Success? Kindness?
Are you living in alignment with your values?
If you don’t practice self-love, you won’t be able to attend to things that you value.
Case in point: you might value your family but since you don’t love yourself, you constantly have a hard time being present.
You also miss out on spending special moments with them because you are feeling depressed or you just don’t have the time and energy.
Or maybe you value kindness but you find yourself constantly angry or easily irritated.
However hard you try, you just can’t seem to be kind.
Because you are running on empty.
You are trying to give everyone your love.
Everyone but yourself.
When you make time for self-love, you also make time for you.
You replenish yourself, you value your quiet time, you recharge yourself.
When you fill your cup first, only then will you be able to truly extend that love and kindness to others.
Reason 3: Self-Love Helps You Become Resilient
Let’s face it, we live in a challenging world.
With the pandemic and all the restrictions that come with it, many people find themselves struggling.
When you truly love yourself, you will be able to forgive yourself when you make mistakes.
You will be able to talk to yourself kindly if you slip up.
You will be able to treat yourself gently when things don’t go according to your plan.
At times, how quickly you can bounce back from a setback will depend on your level of self-love.
Over to You
The gifts and benefits of loving yourself truly and unconditionally cannot be overstated. Let go of the idea that putting yourself is selfish. Nothing can be farther from the truth. Choose self-love always and unapologetically. Only then will you be able to love others fully and live a life of happiness and joy.