The Difference Between Self Care & Self Love
Happy Thursday, Priestesses!
I'm sure you will have noticed that self-love and self-care are a big focus in today's culture, and for extremely good reason! Today I'd like to share my views on the difference between the two, why they go hand in hand and some ways you can implement self-care and self-love into your life!
With the fast pace of today's society, it can be extremely hard at times to slow down, relax and unwind, and this is where self-care comes in. I like to think of self-care as the external, physical things that we do, that have a positive effect on the maintenance of our overall well-being. The effects of self-care often support our physical, mental and spiritual well-being, as the self-care practices we choose often allow us to relax, carve time out for ourselves and truly look after our body and mind. Having self-care practices in our lives really contributes to helping us deal with the daily stresses of life, it can help to prevent burnout and helps us maintain and improve our health. It is a beautiful act of nourishing and taking care of ourselves.
So how do we implement self-care?
There are a whole host of practices we can incorporate into our lives to accommodate caring for ourselves better, but here are a few suggestions:
Make time for your hobbies - making time to do things that we love and enjoy is so important, it gives us respite from the day-to-day and lets us have fun doing something we love!
Get out in nature - fresh air, nature & wildlife and a little bit of exercise can do us wonders. It can boost our Serotonin levels and give us a burst of well-being and present-ness.
Have a conscious cuppa - if you're anything like me, you love a good cuppa! Try taking ten minutes with a cup of your favourite hot drink and really focus on being in the moment, fully present and enjoying your drink - where nothing else is going on or happening, or even matters. Even just for those ten minutes, let yourself experience peace and bliss.
Have a pamper session - Something as simple as a lovely bubble bath or shower, a wee face mask and a body scrub can really help to focus on yourself, your body and help to relax and unwind.
Curate your perfect environment - Our environments can have a massive impact on our mood and wellbeing. Take time to make the spaces you live and work in just to your liking. This might be cosying it up, adding soothing features like candles, blankets and plants or creating a wall of bright, inspiring images and quotes to help lift your mood. Only you know what will work for your environment, but creating a space just how you like it can work wonders!
Self-love wildly differs from self-care, but I often see the two used quite interchangeably... and that's part of the inspiration for today's blog. You see, self-love is a lot, LOT deeper than self-care. Where self-care is the external, physical things, self-love is the act of diving into an intimate relationship with yourself. Self-love looks inward, it includes looking at areas in your life where you are not showing up for yourself, not prioritising your own wellbeing and also looks at the beliefs and feelings you have toward yourself. The truth is, we all have beliefs or feelings about ourselves that cause us to not accept aspects of who we are. These beliefs can of course vary from person to person, but some of the more common ones can be believing you are not good enough, not beautiful enough, believing your opinion doesn't matter, believing that you don't deserve love, believing that you are not worthy of love (or acceptance), but of course this list is not exhaustive. We all have wildly different experiences on our life journeys, but I'd be willing to bet a hefty amount that deep down there is something in all of us we are yet to accept. This is where the practice of self-love comes in. Like I always say, this shit doesn't just change overnight. It takes time and dedication, to sit with yourself open, honest & vulnerable and really dive into yourself and who you truly are.
So how do we implement self-love?
Acknowledging that our looks don't equal our value - we live in a world that's pretty obsessed with image. It's important to know and remember that the physical things about us mean nothing when it comes to the beautiful value we each bring to the world.
Establishing and sticking to boundaries - this means focusing on you and your needs. Whether it's learning to say "no" to things you don't want to do, reducing your time with people who have toxic tendencies or identifying areas where you may have bad habits that are holding you back, and work to deconstruct them.
Learn to trust yourself & your gut - sometimes it can be hard to fully trust ourselves, if we believe we're bad at making decisions, or consistently seek validation of our decisions and choices, we're denying a part of our relationship with our true self. Learning to trust your gut and yourself can tremendously improve your self-worth, confidence and ability to live your life the way you want to.
Allow yourself to feel your feelings - Positivity is great, high-vibes are amazing, but they aren't sustainable. We are human beings, and we experience a glorious spectrum of emotions. Today's good-vibes-only culture creates no room for being human. It is okay to have emotions, it is healthy to feel anger, it is incredible to feel excitement and joy, all too often we feel the pressure to not feel what we perceive as "negative" emotions, which can cause us to shield away from them, tuck them away without actually dealing with them at all. Letting yourself sit in the emotions you experience is so important, honouring your emotions and allowing them a space to be expressed is a true act of self-love. This doesn't mean we have to dwell in these feelings, but allowing ourselves to feel what we feel, and deal with it head-on lets us cultivate a loving, healthy relationship with ourselves.
Treat yourself with kindness & compassion - I recently heard a perspective that had such a profound effect on me, it said "treat yourself like someone you are responsible for taking care of". This really touched me, I'm always an advocate for treating yourself with kindness and compassion, but this feels like one step further. Make a promise to yourself to be your priority. Be kind and gentle with yourself on your journey and indulge in truly taking care of yourself.
Infusing your life with self-care & self-love is the best thing you could ever do for yourself, and not only will it benefit you, but it will benefit everyone around you and everyone you meet... as the deeper into your journey you go, the more your authentic self shines through - and that is an incredible thing for the world.
So how will you infuse more self-care and self-love into your life? Let me know in the comments!