WHAT IS SELF-LOVE AND WHY IS IT SO IMPORTANT?

If you feel like you’re suddenly seeing and hearing the term ‘self-love’ everywhere right now, you’re not alone. From our friends to our feeds, it seems like everyone’s suddenly talking about it… and we’re here for it! But what is it? How do you do it? When do you know you’re doing it right?! We’re here to help answer some of the the main FAQs.

1. WHAT IS SELF-LOVE & WHY IS IT SO IMPORTANT?

Self-love is exactly what it sounds like. Showing yourself the same compassion and care that you give to others. It means believing that you matter and prioritising your needs. That can look very different from one person to the next but some examples can include setting boundaries (saying no to what you want less of in your life), asking for what you want, trusting your gut instincts or being kind to yourself when you make mistakes.

Having a healthy level of respect and empathy for yourself is essential in so many ways. From putting yourself out there to apply for your dream job that may have seemed out of reach, through to opening yourself up to loving relationships that may seem undeserving, the more you show yourself love, the more naturally good things will come to you. Whether you believe in the law of attraction or not, feeling better about yourself can only be positive. Misery may love company but the glow of being around someone who is comfortable with themselves is magnetic.

2. WHY DO SOME PEOPLE STRUGGLE TO LOVE THEMSELVES?

A warning sign that you lack self-love can be when you’re focusing on everyone else’s happiness but yours. There can be a lot of different reasons for this, some of which can be very complex and likely caused by traumas in someone’s past, often in childhood. While self-love levels can ebb and flow through time and experiences, if your feelings and actions towards yourself are consistently looking more like self-hatred, overly self-critical or self-destructive then it’s time to address them. 

When a lack of self-love is impacting your life, the first and most life-changing step can be to start seeing a counsellor who will be able to help you get to the route of why you feel that way and give you guidance on how to change.

3. HOW CAN I SHOW MYSELF, MORE LOVE?

For many of us, ‘self-love’ is something that we have to actively pour energy into.

When you don’t have a normal level of self-love, it can be difficult to know where to start with building that sense of appreciation for everything that makes you who you are. Techniques that some of us swear by might not do it for you. So, it’s a good idea to experiment with different ideas to find yours. 

The best place to start is by looking at what’s going on in your mind. We have a running dialogue in our heads that we sometimes aren’t even aware of. Try to keep a diary of your negative thoughts as they pop up for a few days. Whether it’s about your appearance or your abilities, you might be shocked to see how many mean things you say about yourself without even noticing it. Next, challenge them. Examine if there’s any real evidence that these things are true. Chances are, there isn’t. That girl in marketing doesn’t hate you at all and your friends think you look amazing. Words are powerful. So if you wouldn’t dream of saying the things on your notepad to your best friend then it’s time to rewrite the narrative. 

Small, easy, acts of self-love can be built into your daily routine to help start a lasting habit. Write down a step by step of your usual morning routine. Now, what parts can we adjust to include things that bring you joy or good health? This could be in the form of nourishing your body with a hearty and healthy breakfast to set yourself up for the day, even just setting a timer on your phone to remind yourself to take your medication on time. Or introducing supplements to boost your immune system or support your gut microbiome. These are examples of caring for yourself and putting your health and happiness first.

Remember, other people’s opinions of you are none of your business. It’s time to draw the focus inwards. To accept and embrace yourself, just as you are, in this very moment. 

4. CAN YOU PRACTICE SELF-LOVE WHILE IN A RELATIONSHIP?

Of course! In fact, it’s key to a happy relationship. It’s something that benefits both you and your partner. While there’s debate about whether you can truly love someone if you don’t love yourself, there’s certainly cause to agree that you both should feel and see the positive effects of learning to love yourselves better. 

It’s also important to remember that relationships come and go, so your sense of worth should never be based on how someone else can make you feel. You need to learn how to create that magic for yourself so that it doesn’t disappear if you ever do find yourself single again. Even in the best relationships you’re 50% of the reason it’s so special. You bring more to the table than you know. 

5. HOW DO YOU KNOW WHEN ‘SELF-LOVE’ IS … WORKING?

By how you feel but also by how your life is looking. Do people no longer take advantage of you? Are your needs being met? Do you no longer put yourself last on the list? Do you feel good? Check in with how things are going. The relationship you have with yourself is the longest, most meaningful one you’ll ever have and as with any relationship, communication is everything. 

Has learning to self-love changed your life? Share with us over at @aureliaskincare #aurelialondon