Self-love and self-care are hot topics on the social scene right now. And they sound so similar, but how are they different? If you've pondered this question, I'm going to explain the key differences between the two. I am a huge advocate for BOTH and love to incorporate them into my life as much as possible. Self-care may not happen on the daily, but I sure to try to squeeze in a little self-love every day. Here's what each means:
Self-love: /ˈˌself ˈləv/noun. Regard for one's own well-being and happiness.
Self-love is something that you can do every. single. day! Showing yourself kindness, grace, praise, and acceptance may sound far fetched to some, but I promise you are worthy of celebrating even the tiniest of victories. Did your laundry actually make it through the wash and dry? Pat yourself on the back! Did the kids make it to school on time? Victory. Did you get that presentation completed before the due date? Cheers to you! There are so many little things to give yourself praise and love for. Loving yourself is a necessity. When I begin to feel overwhelmed, I pause, draw in a deep breath, and remember that it is impossible to pour from an empty cup. The ebb and flow of motherhood is a roller coaster ride, and some days are far better than others. But, it is still possible to give yourself the kudos you deserve. Even if it means taking a few minutes out of your day to sit in solitude and say words of affirmation to yourself, whatever it is that leads to your overall well-being and happiness, fill that self-love well up!
Self-care/ˌselfˈker/noun. The practice of taking action to preserve or improve one's own health.
As a mother, self-care can be a little more challenging to do daily, but it is still incredibly important. Remember you were an individual before you became a parent and that person still matters, take care of her. Being the busy working mom that I am, I make it a point to show myself some form of self-care at least once a week. It ranges from getting a manicure to enjoying an extended dinner with a close friend. The point is to carve some quality time out for yourself. If you don't care for personal alone time, maybe you sprinkle in some self-care by scheduling a date night with your significant other. Perhaps you choose to hit the gym and work on yourself that way. Whatever it is, make sure that you are stepping away from the daily routine of mom life. Self-care can still be intertwined into your life if you're a working single-mom, do not think you're excluded! During your lunch break, do something just for you. If there's a will, there's a way.
Self-love and self-care will benefit your life and those around you. But with all the recent talk about the importance of self-care, I think we've forgotten about the importance of self-love. Be kind with the words that you say and think about yourself. For years I filled my head with negativity about not being good enough, not being pretty enough, and the list goes on. Let me tell you, thinking those things did not serve me or my happiness. It took me until I had my daughter to silence those voices. I want her to grow up in a home with a mother who cherishes her body and embraces the stretch marks she has because of her life that grew inside. Most importantly, I want her to have a positive relationship with her own body. Our children listen and watch more than we think they do.
Make sure you're showering yourself in love and acceptance so that your children will learn to as well.
Now that you know the difference between self-love and self-care, think of ways you can start to incorporate them into your life daily (if you're not already doing so). Sometimes all it takes is a little reminder that you matter and deserve to enjoy the little things in life, too.