Self-care is having its moment right now. When so many of us are working two (or three) jobs to make ends meet or support our passions, trying to get through the next work meeting, and trying to find time to spend with friends and family, we need a little time to care for ourselves. Self-care is important to feeling renewed, and it’s truthfully what’s been getting me through my daily stress and anxiety. Come home from work, put on a face mask, and read in bed? Now that’s the life.
To define self-care, it’s basically the act of taking care of yourself physically and mentally. It’s a way to make sure you’re getting the time you need to feel at peace, whether it’s spending the night in painting and drawing instead of going out with friends or going to bed early instead of watching one more episode on Netflix (which we all know is more like three hours because you also don’t want to get off Instagram). It’s the self-awareness that you need time for yourself to grow or develop in any way. Yes, this can be facial massage with your jade roller or going to a Core Powder Vinyasa Flow class, but it can also be reading an article that makes you happy or doing the dishes because you know it will make you feel relaxed tomorrow morning.
Self-love, on the other hand, is about cultivating gratitude and acceptance toward yourself, physically and emotionally. Practicing self-love can look like talking to yourself positively, throwing away your scale, or letting go of the comparison mindset (easier said than done!). Self-love means loving yourself unapologetically, whereas self-care is about taking the time to feel good in your skin.
While these two are different, they’re both necessary to a healthy, fulfilled lifestyle. Self-care allows you to maintain a healthy relationship with yourself rather than beating yourself up over the little things. We all know how uncomfortable it feels when we’ve worked non-stop and had no time with ourselves other than showering and hopping into bed. Practicing self-care helps you refocus your brain, just as meditation would.
One size doesn’t fit all when it comes to self-care and self-love. Not everyone feels calm after a massage, just as not everyone finds confidence from the same sources. What’s so important about self-care is that you spend time discovering what it is that makes you happy or makes your day just a little bit better. It’s not a cure-all for depression or anxiety, but it’s something to add to your routine to reduce stress and slow down your life.
Self-love, however, is a way you can achieve confidence. It’s how you feel better about yourself and accept your flaws. The most successful women have confidence for all the obvious reasons, and that starts with loving yourself.
There’s no way you’re going to have time to love yourself and indulge in self-care every single day. It’s just not feasible and thinking that will set you up for failure. What’s important though is that you make efforts to incorporate these things into your daily life. I’ve found the most success building my body image by throwing out my scale and following women who look like me on social media, whereas little moments of self-care throughout my day work better for me than a full night of pampering. Adding self-care and self-love to my routines has helped me grow exponentially, and my self-esteem and daily stress levels are oh, so very thankful.
Self-care and self-love aren’t about rewarding yourself; it’s about spending time with yourself and loving every minute of it. Literally reading this article is practicing some self-care, so you’re welcome.