Self Care vs Self Love. Is there really even a difference?
While they are both intertwined, these terms do not mean the same thing.
It can be hard to know the difference between self-love and self-care with the way people use them. They are both important aspects in order for us to have a healthy lifestyle but they involve different things.
Don’t worry, once you know, it isn’t that hard to distinguish between the two.
In today’s society, self care is becoming more and more important, which is awesome. You deserve some ME time to recharge and relax. Self love can sometimes get a bad rap but it is so important to our mental wellbeing.
Self love centers around thoughts and feelings we have about ourselves whereas self care focuses on our actions. Self love takes us into a deeper place than self care, which is why it’s important to focus on both aspects in order for us to have a healthy lifestyle.
In this blog post, we’re going to dive deep into both. By the end, you should have a clear understanding of the differences and tips on incorporating them into your daily life.
What is self-care and what is self-love?
Self-care and self-love are both important components of your mental health, emotional wellbeing, and physical health.
In general, self-love centers around the thoughts and feelings we have about ourselves whereas self care focuses on actionable things we do to recharge our batteries.
Self-care can be a part of self-love, since self-love is all about self-acceptance while self-care is more of a ‘take care of you’ concept.
If you have true self-love then you’re going to want to do things to take care of yourself beyond your basic needs. That’s where self-care comes into play.
What is Self-Care?
Self-care means doing things that are going to help you feel relaxed and worthy. It’s taking care of yourself.
Self-care practices can be anything from taking bubble baths, going on walks, using a face mask, listening to music, journaling, meditating… really anything that nurtures your physical and/or mental well-being.
I have a whole blog post on free self-care ideas that you can add to your daily routine today.
Spending time every single day taking care of yourself will encourage positive feelings and prove to yourself that you care about your needs.
What is Self-Love?
Self-love means accepting yourself fully and loving yourself unconditionally.
It is not just about all the parts of yourself that you’re proud of, it is accepting all parts of who you are. This leads to positive thoughts and feelings about yourself.
You are uniquely you and that’s pretty cool.
It’s knowing that you are good enough, smart enough, and gosh darn it people like you!
Self-love practices include:
- Self-Care (our own needs)
- Taking Care of Others (Needs of others)
- Accepting Help and Care from Others (can be both our needs and needs of others)
This youtube video goes deeper into the meaning of self-love if you want to dive deep into the topic.
Self-Love and Relationships
To live a healthy life, we need to be able to have loving relationships that are a two-way street. In any partnership, it is rarely 50/50. However, if one person is doing all the work then it’s going to cause our stress levels to soar and we aren’t going to feel good.
This means that it is important to care for ourselves first. Just like in an emergency on an airplane, you have to secure your own oxygen mask before you can help others. This is the same with our mental well-being. It’s hard to help others to your full potential if you don’t feel your best!
This article from Psychology today explains how self-love is important in order to have strong and healthy relationships with others.
Part of being human is having healthy relationships and that includes caring for them but also letting them help you from time to time. We aren’t always going to feel our best so sometimes we are going to need help. This could even include having your partner take the lead on chores around the house while you spend time searching for new jobs or catching up on work.
We all need help. I know I don’t like asking for help but it is so essential to my health. I have to constantly remind myself that I can’t do it all and the people I love are willing to help when I need it.
It’s knowing in your heart that you are worthy of love. You deserve to be loved and no one else has the right to judge you.
Why it’s important to care for yourself
It is important to take care of yourself because you only have one body and you must look after it.
By practicing self-care and working on self-love, it helps your physical and mental health, which allows you to live a fuller life.
If you truly love yourself, you’ll limit the amount of self-judgment or self-hatred you have for yourself. This can be a really empowering thing.
You only have one body and one mind. It’s important to feel in your heart that you are worthy enough to live a healthy lifestyle. That you deserve to set boundaries and live life on your terms.
The best way to care for yourself is going to be different for everyone so try new things until you find your thing. After all, in order to be your best self, you need to take care of yourself.
How are they intertwined?
My, oh my, how are they NOT intertwined? It’s why so many people use them interchangeably. Self-care is the act of self-love.
It’s a piece of the self-love puzzle.
Self-care is self-love manifested in your daily life. When you love yourself enough to do self-care activities, you’re showing yourself self love. There’s self care because self love exists. That’s the reason self-care can be so difficult – self love is not always easy to come by.
Without self love, self care would lose its purpose and it’s important to look after your physical and mental health in order to live a full life. Self-care and self-love go hand in hand.
You can go through the motions of self-care practices but if you don’t have self-love, it’s not going to matter.
Self-love is definitely harder than self-care. Anyone can take a bubble bath or meditate but to really accept your flaws, that’s hard to do. I’m not going to lie. It’s something that I’m still working on every day.
Learning to love yourself takes time and hard work. The self-love journey is unique to each individual.
Can you have one but not the other?
I’m not saying you can’t have self-care activities in your routine without self-love. You certainly can but if you love yourself, you’re going to want to do the things that are going to fuel your body and soul.
I don’t think you can have self-love without self-care. Self-care encompasses so many things including taking care of our bodies by exercising and eating healthy foods. If you aren’t doing things care for yourself, it is going to be difficult to have a mindset where you accept yourself as you are.
Since self care is the action of self love, I think you can have self-care activities without self-love but to truly reap the benefits, you have to have both. Both are things you have to constantly work on to live a fulfilling and happy life.
Misconceptions about Self Care and Self Love
When it comes to self-care, a common misconception is that self care has to be expensive.
You know, jetting away to a tropical vacation, a spa day, or a facial massage to name a few.
But this couldn’t be further from the truth. Basic self-care can be done on a daily basis. The practice of self-care can be simple as getting some fresh air or reading a book.
There is no right self-care product or way of doing things. You do self care the best you can by listening to your body and mind.
As far as self-love, I think some people view it as being conceited or self-centered. But self-love is accepting yourself as you are and not putting yourself down.
It can be as simple as telling yourself ”you’re doing a great job” or ”I love how brave you’ve been.”
Self-love and self-care don’t have one definition for all people. We each define them for ourselves.
Tips on how to improve your relationship with yourself, including physical, emotional, and mental health.
Self-love isn’t easy. It takes a lot of work to get rid of the negative thoughts we have about ourselves. By practicing self-care, we can work towards a better mental state.
While on this self-love journey, here are some tips I have for you.
Give yourself grace
We all have those days where we don’t feel good about ourselves. Welcome to being a human. As human beings, we have traumas that we need to work through. Self-love is not a linear path and it doesn’t happen overnight.
Make time for Self-Care and Mindset Work
Designate a specific time that you are going to practice self-care throughout the day because life gets in the way but self-care is so important. Don’t feel like self-care activities are something you have to do. Find activities that you actually enjoy and do those.
I also encourage you to work on your mindset every day. Whether that is by doing some shadow work, practicing gratitude, or even displaying positive affirmations and standing in front of the mirror and reciting them.
If we take a moment to reflect on all the beautiful things in our daily lives, it can completely change our mindsets for the better.
Exercise and Nourish your Body
It may not seem like it but this is going to make you feel so much better. It will help you physically and I know I feel better mentally as well if I’m eating a balanced diet and moving my body.
Physical health is so important because if you’re tired or feeling run down, you aren’t going to want to put in the mental work.
Let yourself feel all the emotions
Self-love isn’t about being happy all the time. It’s about having self-compassion and self-kindness. It’s okay to feel all the emotions because you are human. So instead of repressing emotions, give yourself space to feel what you’re feeling so you can work through it.
Spend less time on Social Media
Social media can be a powerful tool but it can destroy self-love. We fall into this comparison trap and think something is wrong with us because our life ‘isn’t as good’ as the ones we see on social media.
This is funny because we all know we aren’t posting when we didn’t get the promotion or when our relationship ended so why would anyone else?
Nowadays, you can have a full face of makeup on with a filter. It’s unreal how realistic it is!
So spend less time on social media and more time in the present, enjoying time with family members or close friends.
Spend time with people who bring you joy
Having good relationships in your life is so important for self-love. After all, it’s harder to love yourself if you have people in your life that are constantly tearing you down.
Surround yourself with people who support you and make you feel good. It helps a lot!
Evaluate your relationships and decide which ones are good for your emotional health. A healthy relationship is one where you both support each other and help one another grow.
There are many things you can do for your well-being. These tips are just a few but will have a huge impact when incorporating self-love and self-care into your life.
Self-care and self-love are both important aspects of taking care of oneself, but they’re not the same. Self love is all about accepting ourselves unconditionally while self-care focuses on the actionable things we can do to show ourselves some love. Self-love takes us into a deeper place than self-care which is why it’s so important to focus on both aspects in order to have a healthy lifestyle.
There are so many different ways to practice self-care and self-love that you have to find the right thing for you.
Let me know in the comments below what you do for self-care? For self-love?
Until next time,
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- Self Love 101: 19 Ways to Learn How to Love Yourself