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Defining Self Love & Self Care

Updated: Jun 1, 2022

In this blog post, we'll talk about the difference between self love and self care and where they connect. As you read posts on social media and consume content that you feel will help you on your healing journey, you will most likely come across these terms. Self love and self care are essential, foundational concepts for any healing journey. Most often, as we learn how to heal the inner parts of us, we will revisit these topics again and again and again. It goes worth saying here that its normal to struggle with self love and self care as you go through the phases of inner healing and even after your healing journey as well.

So what's the difference?

Self Love

Self love is your perception of yourself and the way you treat yourself. It's how kind you are to yourself, how compassionate you are, and whether you believe you deserve good things. Loving yourself is not about liking your appearance per se. It's about a deeper inner relationship between the surface level aspects of you and the parts of yourself you keep hidden; the more vulnerable, wounded parts of you.

It's important to note here that a self love journey can last a lifetime and that's okay and that's normal. You might go through phases of feeling a strong sense of self love and phases of not feeling this way and that's okay. That doesn't mean there is anything wrong with you. Self love is a journey and takes active effort sometimes, and sometimes not!! But the more you take care of yourself, speak kindly to yourself, and work on valuing yourself even if no one else does, the closer you will eventually feel to yourself and being able to say you love yourself might become a lot easier!!

Check out the freebie below with some journal prompts to help you out on your self love journey!

Self Care

Self care is a term used to describe activities you can do that make you feel good, make you feel more connected to yourself, or help you feel inner peace. Self care looks different for everyone. It's basically any activity that helps you to relax and wind down, find grounding, calm, and centre yourself.

Here's a list of some examples:

Keep in mind it's okay if some of these don't work for you. Everyone needs something different from their self care routines.

  1. Playing loud music

  2. Having a shower or a bath

  3. Lighting candles

  4. Cleaning up your space

  5. Decorating your bedroom

  6. Making your favourite meal

  7. Waking up early to have more time to yourself before you start your day

  8. Writing in a journal

  9. Expanding your mind with reading, podcasts, etc.

  10. Connecting with a good friend

  11. Reading a fiction book

  12. Watching your favourite TV show

  13. Going for a run

  14. Going for a walk

  15. Going on a nature hike

  16. Spending time in nature, laying on a blanket in the grass

  17. Time to do nothing

  18. Playing with your pets

  19. Listening to sad songs

  20. Singing

  21. Dancing fast

  22. Dancing slow

  23. Painting

  24. Colouring

  25. Drawing

  26. Anything creative

  27. Cleanse your space with sage

  28. Hold a crystal

  29. Do an oracle or tarot reading

  30. Do a light workout

  31. Yoga session

  32. Cry

  33. Schedule a therapy session

  34. Try Shadow Work

  35. Drink tea

  36. Start a bedtime routine

  37. Start a morning routine

  38. Plan something fun

  39. Go to a cafe

  40. Go to a book store

  41. Order food from your favourite restaurant and curl up with a good movie

  42. Write or say affirmations

  43. Do a guided meditation

  44. Do some breathing exercises

  45. Listen to binaural beats

  46. Watch/listen to something motivational

  47. Buy yourself something nice

  48. Get a manicure

  49. Sit in the sun

  50. Watch the sunrise or sunset

  51. Go to your favourite place

  52. Go for a drive and listen to music

  53. Wash your bedsheets

  54. Dress up and go out (or stay home!)

  55. Cleanse your chakras

  56. Make a playlist

  57. Walk barefoot in the grass

  58. Try a new recipe

  59. Take some vitamins

  60. Start a bullet journal

  61. Have a nap!

  62. Bake brownies

  63. Use essential oils

  64. Open the window and blinds

  65. Write a letter to yourself

  66. Do something your inner child would love (like chalk, blow bubbles, roll down a hill, go to the park and go on the swings)

  67. Watch funny videos

  68. Make a vision board

  69. Pray

  70. Try EFT tapping

  71. Go to the pet store

  72. Water your plants

  73. Put on moisturizer

Comment if there's anything you would add to this list!!

Save this picture for later for inspiration!

The BEST form of Self Care

The best form of self care is the one that is MOST effective for you. If some of this activities don't interest you that's okay!! There's no right or wrong way to take care of yourself. Your self care routine could be anything that makes you feel free, loved, uplifted, calm, grounded, centered, or just overall better. This is YOUR self care so YOU make the rules.

A great way to figure out if an activity is effective for you is to ask yourself if it takes care of each of the four aspects of your well-being.

Is it healthy for you

  • mentally

  • emotionally

  • physically

  • spiritually

Or does it only cover two of these important pillars?

A self care activity might help you mentally and emotionally, but not on a physical or spiritual level. Its best to pick at least two activities so that you can take care of your whole well-being.

For example:

Walking helps me physically and mentally

But writing affirmations helps me emotionally and spiritually

The Key to a Healthy Inner Relationship

All relationships take work, effort, and consistency. You might find you go through phases where it takes more effort to care for and form love within yourself. You might need more self care or a different type of self care depending on what you're going through. This is why its so important to be in tune with and understand what we need on an emotional level. This is where a writing practice comes in.

The key to any healthy relationship is healthy communication. Writing is a chance to talk to yourself, be open and honest about what is going on within you so that you can take the next steps to giving yourself what you need.

The most effective self care activity is a writing practice.

Writing practice is a form of journaling that helps you spend time with your thoughts, process your emotions, and develop a deeper relationship with your inner world.

Curious to learn more?

Download our free guide to get started:

Bottom Line

Self love is a broader term for the way we treat ourselves and self care are acts of showing love towards ourselves. A healthy inner relationship needs both.

When we love and value ourselves, it's easier to take care of ourselves. And when we take care of ourselves, it's easier to love and to feel loved by ourselves.

Journal Prompts

What does self love mean to you?

What's your favourite way to take care of yourself?

What do you believe about self love that may not be true?

What do you believe about self care that may not be true?

Have you noticed any changes in what you need from your self care routine?

What do you tell yourself when loving yourself feels hard?

Leave a comment below if you'd like to share anything about your experiences with self love and self care!

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