Why Self Care is the Road to Self Love?

self care and self love

I don’t think I would’ve survived 2020 without Maggi. I had it every time I needed a pick-me-up, made all kinds of versions of it off of YouTube. It helped me de-stress and cope. I essentially Maggi’d my way through last year. And that…is self-care!

Self care is paying attention to our physical and emotional needs, spending time with ourselves, being gentle with ourselves. I think we’ve all been realizing how important our mental health is, especially in the past year. Sometimes it’s not as easy to achieve amidst the pressures of modern society. But with some self-awareness, and paying an almost parental kind of attention to our own wellbeing, we can come to reassure ourselves that loving and caring for ourselves needs to be in the limelight. 

Social Media and Self Care

The thing is, everyone’s life is on display for us. It’s getting to be so easy to compare ourselves with other people’s successes that we have got to put in a conscious effort in order to not go crazy. We might feel that we’re surrounded by exceptional people doing exceptional things all the time. That we have expectations, usually not of our own volition, that we must meet to retain some semblance of self-respect and value. We may then forget to be grateful for all we have and all we have become. The perils of modern life.

We must remind ourselves that we needn’t reach anyone’s standards except maybe for ours, and even then keep our expectations in such a way as to prioritize our daily contentment and occasional happiness.  

I’ve got to say, there’s a lot of great things about social media. The connection it affords to young people, for instance. You can keep in touch with friends, talk to them, bond over a shared love for SpongeBob memes and Kpop vines. But who were we to think it could ever replace the comfort and connection of face-to-face communication?

Spongebob for self care
Photo by Artur Tumasjan

Another point to consider is the lack of accountability in social media; from the ones who have accounts as well as those who run the sites. You might have little control over what you see because it could all be algorithms and targeted advertising.  

I’ve found myself craving for a chance to have a conversation in the flesh and log off from all of the noise. And whenever I do manage to break the endless cycle of scrolling and take a breather, maybe go for a walk or talk to someone, I feel rested, refreshed. Sort of like I’ve reset myself. Maybe regularly devoting time to such breathers is the start to self-care for most of us. We’ll see where we go from there!

Emotional Maintenance

According to philosopher Alain de Botton 

“Our energies are overwhelmingly directed toward the material, scientific, and technical subjects and away from psychological and emotional ones. We devote inordinate hours into learning about tectonic plates and cloud formations, and relatively few fathoming shame and rage.”

This leaves us, more often than not, confused as to the absurd complexity of our own brains and emotions.  We simply need to understand that feeling and expressing emotions is a part of the human experience. That it isn’t utterly shameful or embarrassing to ask for help; it is only natural. We might look at our own immediate propensity to want to help someone who requires our attention and care and muster the courage to reach out.

Self-love is not an eventual state of mind we might reach one day. It’s a complex, multi-layered process, as it should be. We grow it, spend time with it, nurture it as we would an oak. We grow it as we grow with it. Loving ourselves is the small act of caring for ourselves. Treating ourselves and celebrating without a reason. And reminding ourselves, regularly, that we deserve all of it.

About the Author: Ananya Ananth is a Media and Comm. student who writes, dances, and pets cats. Will be found vibing to music and instant coffee at all hours.

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