We didn’t grow up in a world where ‘self love’ and ‘self care’ were encouraged. In all honesty, I don’t think many were aware of its meaning. These are phrases that have come up more so in the last decade and have gained far more meaning since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic.
However, today it is one of the most important things that an individual needs to work on.
Most of us were brought up being taught to think about what others may think of our actions rather than ourselves. It is fairly common to hear the phrase ‘log kya kahenge’. As a result, inevitably most of us are naturally attuned to care about other people’s judgements and perceptions rather than our own. Our whole attention consciously or subconsciously goes towards pleasing others, and in the process, we completely forget about looking after ourselves.
This is especially true for women in our society. Traditionally speaking, women are raised to be caregivers. It’s considered a positive trait for women to put others before themselves. As a result, they not only end up not taking care of themselves and pushing aside the thought of self love, they also often end up having a negative relationship with themselves. This may be due to not being able to prioritize themselves, their self love, their appearance, their ambition, etc. in the ways they want to.
However, what is now being seen as equally important – if not more – is self love. It is extremely important that we nurture ourselves, take care of ourselves rather than just doing so externally to others. While doing so, we should remember that it is not a one-time thing but a lifelong process.
Like any other relationship, our relationship with ourselves also evolves over time so it needs consistent love, care and effort.
- The key element of cultivating self love is to be kind to ourselves.
It’s extremely easy for most of us to be critical of ourselves and badger ourselves over small or big things. Therefore, it’s important that we be kind to ourselves and remember that we are all human beings – making some mistakes but accomplishing several achievements otherwise.
- We should consciously try to pay attention to the positives in our life and not just the negatives.
This brings a certain balance to our own narrative. We should be grateful to whatever we have and try to provide ourselves with positive affirmations whenever possible.
- We need to give ourselves a break.
We are not robots and therefore we cannot expect ourselves to perform in the same manner and form every day. Therefore, whenever required we need to take a break in whichever form we can.
There are many other ways to practice self love but this is a good start to developing a path towards a positive relationship with ourselves. It is important to remember that when we like ourselves, we will make healthier life choices and create a space that will encourage love towards ourselves, and towards others.
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To know more about mental health, read Ishita Pateria’s articles right here.