What is the difference between self-love and self-care? And how to do both.

What is the difference between self-love and self-care? And how to do both.

From a young age we're taught to please others—our parents, teachers, bosses, significant others, children, or society as a whole. This can lead to us tying our self-worth and value to the opinions and actions of others. Because of this, we might experience low self-esteem, self-loathing, and negative self-talk. In turn, these feelings may be projected on to others as judgements, gossip, verbal abuse, violence, etc.

By taking time to understand and practice self-love and self-care, you have the opportunity to unravel decades of conditioning that has stunted the ability to achieve genuine self-acceptance, confidence, growth, and happiness.

What is self-love?

Self-love is a deep and enduring appreciation for yourself. It involves recognizing and embracing your worth, accepting your flaws, and building a relationship with yourself filled with trust, care, and respect. It’s about positive self-talk—the words you use to talk to and about yourself so you can nurture your own self-esteem and growth.

Words have the power to lift us up or tear us down. It's one of the reasons positive word art is so important to me and why I built an entire business around it.

Self-love definition print on handmade paper

What is self-care?

Self-care means nourishing your own health and well-being. It involves setting boundaries, taking time to rest, and doing things that foster peace of mind and happiness. Self-care is all about the actions you take to strengthen your self-love.

Self-care definition print on handmade paper

Benefits of self-love and self-care

  • Improved mental health, mood, and motivation

  • Self-acceptance and higher self-esteem

  • Knowing your boundaries and saying no

  • Reduced stress or burnout

  • Personal growth and happiness


      Practicing self-love and self-care might seem overwhelming or impossible at first, but you can see progress and benefits by starting small. Pick one or two things from the lists below and give them a try in the next month.

      Ways to practice self-love

      • Write down 3 things you love about yourself or that make you unique. Say them out loud. Repeat them to yourself in the mirror. Keep building on this exercise until you can write yourself a love letter.

      • Forgive yourself. Acknowledge lessons learned and try to let go of guilt and shame. You are human. Give yourself the grace and understanding needed to achieve greater self-acceptance.

      • Write down 3 things your body helps you accomplish each day. Thank your body for all the miraculous things it does for you and throw away the negative body talk.

      • Repeat positive affirmations to yourself during meditation or throughout the day. Repeat after me: I am a badass. I am loved. I deserve good things.

      • Take time to celebrate. Even if you didn’t exactly achieve a particular goal, pat yourself on the back for trying. Pause to acknowledge your progress and achievements throughout the year.

      • Surround yourself with people who make you feel seen and heard and want to nurture your growth. Try to let go of relationships that harbor doubt, negativity, mistrust, and pain.

       Fall in love with yourself first R. Clift card

      Ways to practice self-care

      • Set boundaries with your work, family, and friends. Communicate your boundaries and expectations clearly and then say no when someone or something tries to cross a line.

      • Care for your mental health: write in a journal, disconnect from your phone/Internet, take a long bath or shower, snuggle a pet, read a good book, meditate, listen to calming music, or write yourself a love letter.

      • Care for your physical health: stretch, take a walk, lift weights, dance to your favorite song, schedule a doctor’s appointment, cook delicious meals, set a consistent sleep schedule, rest or take a nap.

      • Care for your space: declutter and clean, rearrange your office or living space, donate old clothes, jewelry, and books, display new plants or artwork that make you smile.

      • Feel more connected: Call or visit a loved one, write to someone, rekindle an old friendship, invite someone for dinner or coffee, volunteer, take a class, join a church group or book club.

      • Do things that bring you joy: draw, paint, or write something, book a trip, volunteer, buy yourself flowers, watch a good movie, go to a comedy show or concert, relax outside, watch a sunrise or sunset.

      Self-love and self-care are continuous journeys so try out a couple of the ideas on these lists or come up with your own. Self-love lays the foundation for self-care, and practicing self-care reinforces and enhances self-love.

      Finding what works for you will help you achieve greater self-acceptance, growth, and happiness and will have a positive ripple effect to those around you.

      You got this!

      With love,

      Alison Rose


      Social media: @alisonrosevintage

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