Self Love: What Is It, Exactly?

February is here, and with it comes the season of love.

While many of us celebrate love from others, have you ever stopped to think about the most important love of all – the love you have for yourself? Merriam-Webster defines self-love as “an appreciation for one’s own worth or virtue.” But, what does that mean exactly, and how do you achieve it if it’s something you often struggle with?

It’s more than feeling good about yourself.
While a positive self-image is an important aspect of self-love, it’s also about acknowledging your worth and treating yourself with respect, care, and dignity. It involves being kind, compassionate, and accepting of yourself. By having a healthy level of self-love, you become more confident, resilient, and optimistic, ready to tackle life’s ups and downs.

It influences many aspects of your life.
Practicing self-love can have a positive impact on your mental health, physical health, relationships, and personal growth. When you love and accept yourself, you reduce the risk of low self-esteem, anxiety, and depression. You are more likely to make healthier choices for your mind and body, such as eating nutritious food, exercising regularly, and getting adequate sleep.

Self-love and relationships.
By loving yourself, you set boundaries, communicate effectively, and avoid abusive behavior. Additionally, when you feel happy and content with yourself, you become a positive, nurturing presence in the lives of those around you. They receive the best version of you, and you attract positive, healthy relationships into your life.

“In a national survey, Americans cited benefits of self-care as enhanced self-confidence (64%), increased productivity (67%), and happiness (71%). From a physical health perspective, self-care also reduces heart disease, stroke, and cancer.” ( During this season of celebrating love, take some time to focus on self-love and well-being. Here are a few tips to help get you started:

  1. Indulge in self-care. Take a relaxing bath, read a book, go for a walk in nature – do what makes you feel good and nurtured.
  2. Celebrate your achievements. Reflect on how far you’ve come and how much you’ve grown by writing down your accomplishments, no matter how small they may seem.
  3. Surround yourself with positivity. Spend time with people who uplift you and avoid negativity. Read positive books, watch motivational videos, and listen to inspiring music.
  4. Be kind to yourself. Speak to yourself with kindness, just as you would to a close friend. Avoid self-criticism and negative self-talk. Focus on your strengths and positive qualities by repeating self-affirmations regularly. 

Self-love is not just a trend, it’s a crucial aspect of mental health and well-being, and this Valentine’s Day season provides the perfect opportunity to focus on it. By investing in self-love and valuing your worth, you become a better version of yourself, ready to offer love and support to those around you and attract positive relationships into your life. Embrace this season of self-love and watch as your relationships, and overall well-being blossom.

If you believe Integrative Counseling Services can help you or a loved one, or if you or your organization wishes to learn more about our offerings, please reach out to our main office at 570-955-5479.

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