Self-care and self-love are likely terms that we have heard before. But we may not know what they mean in practice. It can also be difficult to separate self-care from self-love and figure out where one ends and the other begins.
What is self care?
Self-care includes all things that we do to take care of ourselves physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually.
It can range from basic self-care like cleaning your teeth and going to bed at an appropriate time to things that help us feel better but may not be as important, like some time to read a book or allow yourself to be our favorite bubble bath.
What is self love?
The dictionary definition of self-love is “the instinct or desire to promote one’s own well-being; Consideration for or love for oneself. “
Self-love is about accepting ourselves unconditionally. It includes how we talk to ourselves, our feelings about ourselves, and some of our actions. It’s not about thinking that every single part of our personality and body is fabulous. But it’s about loving each other in spite of all the perceived imperfections.
Misconceptions about self-care
When we talk about taking care of ourselves physically, emotionally, and spiritually, we are talking about taking care of ourselves, starting with our basic needs, and improving. Our basic needs include feeling safe and warm, taking our medication as prescribed, eating and drinking enough, and getting enough rest.
Once we have our basic needs met, we can start thinking about things like creating healthy boundaries, managing our relationships, managing money and bills, keeping our living space clean, being creative, learning, and working towards our full potential.
There is a misconception that self-care has to cost a fortune. Bath bombs, pampering sessions and spa days could all be part of our self-care. But self-care is much broader and will vary from person to person.
Misconceptions about self-love
When people are described as someone who loves themselves, it is sometimes in a negative context. There is a misconception that loving ourselves means that we are boastful, confident and have an overly inflated opinion of ourselves.
We use the term “self-love” differently. When we use it, we talk about wrapping ourselves in a hug. Take care of ourselves and be kind to ourselves. We see ourselves as worthy; Someone who deserves to be comfortable and in order.
We believe these things not because we are selfish, important or vain, but because we deserve to be loved, cared for and in order.
“Nobody can love you until you love yourself”
There’s a quote that pops up everywhere. There are several variations of this, but the general feeling is the same; Nobody can or will love us until we love ourselves.
This is not true.
It is a harmful myth that many of us interpret as “I don’t love myself so no one will ever love me”. When we think about it, most of us have at least one person, animal, or thing we love, even though we don’t know where to fall on the self-love-o-meter.
When we love someone who is struggling with self-love, it can hurt to struggle with it because we care deeply about them. But it doesn’t make us love her less.
Can they be linked?
The short answer is yes.
Self-care can help us reach a point where we love ourselves. When we start prioritizing self-care (however difficult it may be) it can slowly help us feel a little more “human”. Self-care can teach us that we actually deserve to be cared for. We deserve to be looked after. It can help us gain a sense of self-respect and love who we are.
It can also go the other way. Often times, when we start loving ourselves, our self-care improves. Loving yourself can help reduce self-neglect. We could begin to see our worth. Appreciate yourself and go to the dentist for the first time in years.
Do we have to love each other to support our self-care?
Self-love is not a requirement for self-care.
We can take care of ourselves whether we love ourselves or not. Everyone goes through spots where self-love is difficult, but that doesn’t mean we have to stop taking care of ourselves. It may be more difficult to maintain our self-care when we are not in love, but it is not impossible.
How are they different?
In general, self-love focuses on the thoughts and feelings we have about ourselves, while self-care focuses on our actions. This does not mean that we cannot do acts of self-love or think about self-care. It’s a general idea as opposed to a black and white concept.
If someone asked us how we are and we answered “self-care” or “care” it would not make sense because it is not a feeling like it is “love”.
In contrast, it would be less useful for someone to ask what we are up to and we say “self-love” than if we say “self-care”.
Some actions are classified as both self-loving and caring, such as balanced diet. The difference is that eating well as a self-loving act often consists of accepting ourselves and our bodies and believing that we deserve to provide ourselves with the things we need. It’s more of an emotional motive. If we were to eat well as part of our self-care, the motive would likely come from knowing that we cannot go on without food. The motivation behind the action is more factual and practical.
You can both work
Both self-care and self-love can cost work. It is not always easy to think about or do, especially when we don’t like or hate ourselves.
However, we can work on both. We can learn to love ourselves, and we can start small in self-care and slowly build it up. We don’t have to do it alone, we can access the support of our friends, family or professionals.
Wherever we are on the scale of self-care and self-love, it is important to remember that we are not alone. We’re not the only one who feels the way we do, and we won’t feel that way forever.
Please help us to help others and share this post. You never know who might need it.