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What Self-Love and Self-Care Actually Are

by Nathalie Fernandez 3 years ago in mental health
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Is there a different between the two? Do we know what the difference is?

Me trying to figure out if I truly love myself

In order to write this post, I had to look this up myself, because I wasn’t even sure of what these two things actually are.

Self-love and self-care are not the same thing, many people know this. But one very important thing I didn’t read in all the blog posts and articles is that people should practice self-love and self-care, together, in order for either one to work. Yes, they are different, but I don’t think one can be without the other.

Self-care literally means to take care of yourself, and self-love literally means to love yourself no matter what. What this means is that, even thought they both require actions, one could understand self-care as a more physical and tangible thing than self-love, which involves more mental and emotional work.

Nobody likes to read long articles anymore, so to keep this short enough here are some examples of self-love and self-care, so you can tell the difference:

Working out - self-care

Feeling good about the way you look - self-love

Eating healthy - self-care

Accepting yourself for who you are - self-love

Which one do you think is easier to practice?

How many times have you tried to eat healthy, workout, take care of your skin, stay hydrated every day, search for spiritual guidance... and yet you still feel sad, hopeless, or angry at yourself?

That’s because you’re only focusing on self-care and leaving self-love on the side.

(When I say “you” I actually mean myself—and those who do this, too- because I am 100 percent guilty of only trying self-care).

And why are we focusing on self-care more than on self-love? That’s because self-care is easier. Self-love requires a different level of “mind-control.” By that I mean your own mind, not others.

Everyone is special and self-love implies understanding your worth and controlling your mind so you see it most of the time. It requires you to have a mind set that will allow you to see who you are, pros and cons, and appreciate yourself just the way that you are. It’s basically being able to look at yourself in the mirror and say “I am enough,” or even “I am more than enough.” It means to be kind to yourself and recognize that it’s okay not to be okay.

That’s what makes it so hard. Because you can have all these beautiful qualities, and yet never see them. Or worse, you can see them but you don’t care about them, and rather want other qualities. Which leads to never being completely satisfied with who you are, and therefore never achieving self-love (even though you do all these things you see on the internet to practice self-care).

One similarity that I’ve noticed between self-care and self-love is that they both require you to be active. When working towards self-love it is necessary to do actions that help you improve your physical and mental states. The difference is that the activities for self-love and self-care are a little different.

They are related but they do different things.

You can’t do self-love without self-care, but you can certainly do self-care and never reach self-love.

Even though activities needed to do self-care are gratifying and make you feel good, self-love comes from within.

You can take a bubble bath with essential oils and drink a glass of wine and feel great in the moment. But after you’re done, you might still feel bad about your life or yourself.

The way I see it, self-love needs a constant psychological work that can eventually help you change your habits to feel better physically and mentally.

“So, what now?” you may ask... “How do I achieve self-love?”

Good question, I’m asking myself the same thing.

I’ve been doing research and I will continue to do so and I will try to put together (in my opinion) the best information out there, to help you, my readers, and myself.

I recently read something very true: “you can’t pour from an empty cup.”

We have to find a way to take care of ourselves before we can help others.

Thank you.

mental health

About the author

Nathalie Fernandez

A random girl with things to say

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