General Article Self-care vs. self-love: what’s the difference?

Topic Selected: Adolescent Health Book Volume: 395

Self-care and self-love are probably terms that we’ve heard before. But we might not know what they mean in practice. It can also be tricky to untangle self-care from self-love and to work out where one ends and the other begins.

What is self-care?

Self-care encompasses all the things we do to care for ourselves physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually.

It can range from basic self-care, such as cleaning our teeth and going to bed at a reasonable time, to the things that help us feel better but aren’t perhaps as essential, such as setting some time aside to read a book or treating ourselves to our favourite bubble bath.

What is self-love?

The dictionary definition of self-love is ‘the instinct or desire to promote one’s own well-being; regard for or love of one’s self’.

Self-love is all about unconditionally accepting ourselves. It includes how we talk to ourselves, our feelings about ourselves, and some of our actions. It’s not about thinking that every single part of our ...

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