Self-love. It seems these days that you can’t open a browser window or social app without coming across the trendy phrase. From influencers to advertisements to articles upon articles, “love yourself” has become a phrase that we’re all familiar with – but how many of us actually understand and appreciate the weight of loving yourself? Though it may seem like any other fleeting trend, beneath the layers of social media and marketing hype, the concept of self-love is essential to our collective health and well-being.
At FRENCH GIRL,
self-love is part of our philosophy – the backbone of our mission and the inspiration for our products, and we feel it is only right that we reclaim the concept as a vital and necessary piece of everyday life and share it with you.
What is Self-Love?
At its core, the definition is simple: self-love is loving yourself – taking the positive characteristics that are commonly associated with giving and receiving love and applying them to the way you think about and act toward yourself. Self-love is recognizing your needs and choosing to prioritize them, even when you may not want to – giving yourself unconditional love and support when you need it most.
Why is Self-Love Important?
When it comes to love, we lead by example – meaning that we teach others how to love us based on the way we love ourselves. This is massive: it sets the tone for every relationship we will ever have. If you treat yourself with respect, the people you interact with will follow suit. If you are gentle, kind, forgiving, and true to yourself, others will treat you in the same way, and will be able to recognize more easily when they don’t.
Self-love is also vital to our physical and mental health, according to various studies. Given that there is a clear connection between self-esteem and mental health issues like anxiety, depression, and addiction, how we treat ourselves becomes extremely important. Learning to appreciate and accept ourselves for who we are is an essential factor of self-esteem –so when we love ourselves, we are more likely to have higher self-esteem, and less likely to fall into self-destructive patterns or develop mental health issues. Along those lines, for those of us who already struggle with mental health issues, self-love becomes even more critical.
It’s relatively easy to say, “love yourself!”, but it can be difficult, even after understanding what it means and how important it is, to put self-love into practice. So here are some ideas to get you started:
Be kind to yourself.
There’s a saying that goes, “speak to yourself like you would speak to someone you love.” As simple as it may sound, the sentiment is powerful. At the end of the day, we are our own support system – so we have to be supportive. Treat yourself like you would your very best friend: reassure yourself when you’re feeling insecure, believe in your goals and dreams, and lift yourself up when you’re feeling down.
Make time for yourself.
With constant responsibilities and commitments demanding our attention at all times – like work, family, and friends, to name a few – it can be easy to get overwhelmed and forget to prioritize ourselves. Show yourself some love by carving out you-time to refocus and recharge. Journal, read, take a bath, go for a walk, see a movie you’ve been wanting to see – whatever gets you in the moment and in touch with yourself. It’s okay to put you first.
Mistakes are a part of life, and everyone makes them. The important part is to take responsibility for them, apologize if necessary, and then let it go. Show yourself some grace by forgiving yourself for your mistakes. You’re only human, after all.
Take care of yourself.
On days when you’re feeling especially down, take care of yourself. Make yourself a nutritious meal, take a shower, get dressed, get out of the house. Make doctor’s appointments and brush your teeth. Remind yourself of all of the reasons you are amazing. If you can’t pull yourself out of your feelings, know when it’s time to ask for help – show yourself love by reaching out to a friend, loved one, or mental health professional. Understand that sometimes taking care means being honest with yourself and knowing that it’s okay to lean on others.
Be true to yourself.
Remember that no one is like you, and that is what makes you powerful. When there is a disconnect between the person we project to the world and the person we are inside, we are not only doing ourselves a disservice – we are doing the world a disservice. Remember that the world needs exactly what you have to offer, so offer it! Be fearlessly and unapologetically yourself.
Whether you choose to engage in smaller self-care rituals (like enjoying your skincare routine, drawing a relaxing bath, treating yourself to a spa day, etc.) or to make a conscious shift in your mentality (or both!), choose to show yourself love this Valentine’s Day. There is no one more deserving.
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