Self-love shouldn’t be confused with selfishness (Picture: Ipad Lama)
A study of 22,000 people across the globe reveals that self-love is still an issue – and for some it has been worsened by the pandemic.
Self-love is something that comes less naturally to some people. However, its value shouldn’t be underestimated.
Overall, one in two women feel more self-doubt than self-love and 60% of women wish they had more respect for themselves – something that self-love plays a part in fostering.
Looking at the UK specifically, 47% of women feel they are ‘no good at all’.
These feelings are particularly acute for transgender people, minorities, and those who spend time taking care of others.
The Body Shop is behind the study into self-love, which found that during the pandemic, of those who entered it with high levels of self-love, 95% were unshaken with their feelings toward themselves either improving or staying the same.
Meanwhile of those who entered with low levels of self-love, over a third have noticed this worsen.
Western countries in particular suffered here when compared with Eastern countries.
Gen Z women were the most noticeable age group in the the lowest self-love category.
The Millennial Therapist, Sara Kuburic, says that some people confuse self-love with being selfish. This worry can put people off of practicing self-love boosting activities.
Sara says it’s important to move past this because ‘in order to build a home, you need a firm foundation. In order to love others, we need to love ourselves.’
She explains: ‘In order to have healthy relationships with others, we have to strive towards a healthy relationship with ourselves.
‘Self-love is not something we can outsource, although we often try to, especially within our relationships.’
The Body Shop found that women with low self-love are five times more likely to rely on what others think of them to validate themselves.
Those who have regular access to emotion support overall had healthier levels than self-love, showing that it’s not a bad thing to seek help from others. Rather, it’s how we prioritise that external information.
‘A lack of self-love can contribute to a wide array of mental health issues. The degree to which we love ourselves will dictate the way we treat ourselves,’ Sara says.
One way that was revealed in the study was more than half of people surveyed admitted to acting happy to please others.
A lack of self-love could lead to someone devaluing their emotions.
If you’re working on self-love, Sara advises: ‘It can be helpful to think about any other loving relationship you may have cultivated. The same principles apply.
‘We need to spend time with ourselves, we need to be curious, we need to recognise our value, we need to have inner-dialogue, we need to respect our own boundaries.
‘It’s an everyday process of choosing ourselves. Self-love generally does not occur accidentally. It’s a proactive process.
‘You need to start with getting to know yourself. Self-love is not a destination, it is an ongoing process, so be patient and gracious.
‘There is no right or wrong way to go through this journey and it does not mean reaching full self-actualisation or perfection.’
The Millennial Therapist, Sara Kuburic, suggests the following to boost levels of self-love:
- Practice gratitude journaling
- Set and keep daily promises
- Do the hard stuff (decision making, boundary setting)
- Spend time with yourself
- Be curious rather than judgmental
- Taking care of your physical health
- Build a support system
- Move your body
- Check in every day with how you are feeling
- Meet your needs
- Build healthy relationships
- Let go of things, beliefs, and people that no longer serve you
Do you have a story to share?
Get in touch by emailing [email protected].