Self-Care vs. Self-Love

Today I want to share with you an important topic. The difference between Self-Care and Self-Love.

Most people use those terms interchangeably. But to be honest there is a difference and it’s important to be aware of that. Otherwise, you will always have a feeling of disconnection. This also can result in not being able to have deep and meaningful relationships with you and others. So what is the deal?

Self-Care

Let’s start with Self-Care. Self-Care means you care for yourself. This could be a nice massage, a treat, a gift, or time for yourself like reading a book, do yoga, or meditate. Usually, it’s something you can buy with money or time.
Don’t get me wrong. Those things are wonderful and important to do. But this is self-care, not self-love.

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Self-Love

Self-Love on the other hand means: you love yourself. You can show affection for yourself with self-care, but self-love is something different.
Answer the following question: Do you love yourself? Love without any expectations, judgment, criticism, or negative self-talk? That’s not easy to do, right? Most people struggle with loving themself. They criticize, judge, compare, they are unhappy with what they see. You are the only person who is that hard to yourself. No-one else will judge, criticize, or have as high expectations towards you as you have.

A short experiment: Have a look into the mirror. What do you see and what do you feel? Observe your feelings and emotions without judging them. Do you deeply love the person you see in the mirror? Do this exercise for 2-3min.

Why is it important?

Loving yourself without the need to change or judge yourself, is probably one of the hardest things to master. But it is a really important thing to practice. Only if you love yourself, you open up to deep and meaningful relationships.

If you can’t love yourself you will start to put up walls to protect yourself. Those walls protect you from your own criticism, judgment, and expectations. You install them. Once they are installed it’s pretty hard to knock them down. Especially if you continue with that negative attitude toward yourself.

All those walls should protect you from being hurt, but they also protect you from other feelings. Do you think another person can look behind those walls and can connect with you deeply? Those walls will block any deep connection. The only way to experience a deep connection with yourself or others is to tear down those walls. Becoming the person you are, vulnerable but also open. Open to love, open to deep connections, and open to self-love.

What can you do now?

First of all, make sure that you don’t confuse self-love with self-care. Whatever you do to care for yourself is important, but this is not self-love. Self-care can be the foundation to open up to self-love.
Second start to practice self-care. Self-care in the form of taking time for yourself opens you up to discover who you truly are. E.g. Yoga and mediation can help you to become more compassionate. Reconnecting with nature can also be very powerful. Most importantly create a space where you can be vulnerable and open.
And last but not least, start with accepting who you are. Look behind those protection walls. Give yourself love and the permission to be vulnerable. Tear down those walls.

Pro Tip: I created a free 5-day course to support you in establishing a self-care routine to open up space for more self-love. It’s completely free of charge for you.

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