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Self-Love: What It Is, Why It’s Important & How To Practice It

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at U Ottawa chapter.

What Is Self-Love?

According to Better Up, “self-love”, a term linked to self-compassion and self-esteem, is often defined as showing yourself “appreciation, affinity, and [a] positive regard” (Cooks-Campbell, 2024). To elaborate more on this, Forbes Health says that self-love “encompasses being kind to yourself” in ways like “forgiving yourself, refraining from self-judgment, trusting yourself, and understanding and valuing your worth” (Solis-Moreira, 2024). But, how why is this important and how do we practice it?

Why Is Self-Love Important? Because of its Many benefits!

In a nutshell, you are practicing self-love when you: do things that make you happy, take the time to get to know yourself, create self-care routines for yourself, prioritize your well-being and self-compassion, practice positive self-talk, embrace what makes you unique, accept your past and present for what it is, and when you work with yourself to be your best self. Practicing it, then, seems to be beneficial for everyone! Here are some of the many benefits that practicing self-love can bring to your life.

Mental Health

  • Lowering Stress Levels
  • Sparking Bravery
  • Strengthening Our Empathy For Others
  • Improving Self-Efficacy
  • Improving One’s Boundary-Setting

Physical Health

  • If one of the ways you practice self-love is through moving your body (as you should!), then this has positive implications for your body. Whether your current body goals are to tone, lose weight, gain weight, stay the same weight, feel stronger or simply just feel healthier, building a connection between your physical health and self-love can be super beneficial!

Are You Lacking Self-Love?

This might be a tough question to answer, but think about it and be honest with yourself! Better Up shares 10 signs of a lack of self-love that can help you navigate whether or not you need to show yourself more appreciation and compassion. Once you figure out whether you need to take more time for yourself in your life, then you can begin navigating the realm of how to implement self-love in your daily life.

Ways To Practice Self-Love!

Let’s say you need to prioritize yourself more. Need ideas? We got you covered! Below is a list of ideas you should try to reap the benefits that self-love has to offer.

  • Give yourself a compliment (tell yourself things like: I am loved, I am beautiful, I am enough)
  • Speak to yourself kindly (pretend you’re talking to one of your good friends or a family member that you love very much)
  • Use a gratitude journal daily to give yourself that 2-5 minutes of being grateful for the life you have and your loved ones
  • Meditate or move your body (or both!) in a way that makes you feel good about yourself
  • Limit your screen time if you can (especially if it’s over five hours)
  • Understand that you can’t control everything
  • Have weekly check-ins with yourself where you ask things like “How are we really doing this week? What’s something that made me happy this week? How can I do more of that or get more of that?”
  • Eat healthier foods, take a shower or bath, and get an adequate amount of sleep where you feel well-rested in the mornings
  • Keep your environments clean (like your bedroom, office, etc.)
  • Let go of things that no longer serve you (this ties into setting boundaries and putting yourself first)

Let Is Know What You Think :)

Follow us on Instagram and tell us how you practiced self-love by using the ideas in this article. Or, better yet, tell us what we missed in our list of ways to practice self-love!

Emily Crandall

U Ottawa '24

4th-year Communications and Sociology student at the University of Ottawa.