Self-love and self-care…what’s the difference?

We all know it’s important to practice self-love; that’s why we take a bath or have a glass of wine, right? Mmm, not quite.

Developing a regular sleep routine, taking a walk after work, or enjoying a bath with some merlot are all self-care practices. To practice self-love, you have to go a little deeper, and it’s all about having the right mindset. To love yourself, you must go beyond occasional actions and focus on a long-lasting mental shift.

A perfect way to practice self-love is to acknowledge no two people are exactly the same. Despite any similarities, we are all unique in several ways, which means we need to stop comparing ourselves and accept who we are. This goes beyond physical appearance, friends – it also applies to where you’re at in life. It’s easy to look at someone and think, “Wow. They’ve got it all figured out,” but the truth is, it’s all relative. We don’t know what battles that person has overcome to be where they are today, and those battles are different than the ones you’ll face in your own life. None of us take the same journey through life, so let’s appreciate the uniqueness of everyone’s own course. Self-love nor self-care just happen because we want them to.  We must create a practice that, over time, will form new healthy habits we’re seeking.

How else can you practice self-love?

  • Recognize no one is perfect, including you. Use positive words when talking to yourself or about yourself to someone else. Instead of focusing on things you don’t like, reframe your mindset and allow yourself to talk about the good stuff.
  • Be self-aware, and allow yourself to acknowledge the things you’d like to improve on without dwelling on why you don’t like them. Focus on how you’re actively going to change them.
  • Put yourself first. Your friends, siblings, significant other, parents, kids, co-workers, and many others value you. Now it’s time to start valuing yourself – Every. Single. Day.