Self-love, self-care, self-compassion, self-acceptance… what do all of these things mean? These days self-anything is a big buzzword, whether it’s in pop culture (treat yo self!) or in the psychology world. Some people think its total fooey, some kind of millennial mindset, or selfishness. I can understand why people feel that way… it is after all, very self-focused. As someone who reveres self-awareness and has experienced healing through the development of self-love: practicing self-love changed my life.
So what is self-love exactly? In my opinion, Self-love is the regard we have for our own happiness, peace, and well-being. I also think self-love is made up of three components: compassion for self, self-acceptance, and self-care.
Compassion for Self
Compassion for self is the component of self-love where we choose to be kind to ourselves and to extend to ourselves the compassion and understand that we offer to others. Self-compassion requires us to be aware of how we treat ourselves and to assess our self-talk. What we say to ourselves matters! We preach to our kids to be kind to others, while also speaking not-so-kindly to ourselves.
A good example of compassion for self is the ability to put a mistake you made to rest and forgive yourself, instead of going over it in your head repeatedly.
Self-Acceptance means allowing yourself to be human and accepting your traits: strengths and weaknesses. Too often we see others succeeding or sharing their highlights on social media, and compare our backstage to their highlight reel. Being able to accept who you are at the very moment is a strength that feeds confidence.
Self-care is the action we take to love ourselves. Self-care is healing and fulfilling when we feel drained due to our life’s demands. Some forms of self-care include:
- physical care of our bodies through exercise, nutrition, water, and physical relaxation activities
- emotional care of ourselves through therapy, setting healthy boundaries, and stress management
- spiritual care of ourselves through faith or spiritual activities like attending services of your, studying theology, connecting with nature, or spiritual practices like yoga
Between the 3 components of self love, which do you think you have down the best? Which do you need to work on the most?