Author: Siddharth Patil
Sitting here with my charcoal face mask on, sipping on my Dalgona coffee and eating my avocado toast, listening to my Good Mood playlist and breathing in the cold morning breeze. I head out for a run and feel the adrenaline coursing through my body. After a long and blissful shower, I groom my hair while slow dancing to my music. I truly take care of myself: I eat healthy, I do my regular exercise, and I love the way I look.
The general public makes this topic appear tremendously convoluted and tedious. Slap on a face mask, eat tasty food, and jam to your favorite songs. It really isn’t that difficult. Put on a beautiful Netflix Original, get inspired, and think of ways to turn your life around. At this point, people forget who they are and instead go about obeying baseless societal norms. It is 2020, toxic masculinity or femininity – both are cancelled. Taking care of yourself – only physically – is not self love. That would be changing yourself to conform to society’s “ideal” construct on physique and feel better about
finally being accepted.
The whole trend started off to raise awareness on body positivity and to love who you are, for what you are. Body positivity is turning into an excuse for individuals to not engage in any sort of physical activity, or even basic grooming and hygiene. The movement was to encourage those with body image issues to become comfortable with their physical features whilst improving their lifestyle and choices without any prejudice from society.
Overthinking, anxiety, past trauma, depression, suicidal thoughts and more are the most overlooked aspects of society, let alone self-love. Full acceptance of your physical self and mental state, and the constant thirst to strive to become an improved version of you, is the true definition of self love. Openly discussing your mental health without feeling any judgement from peers or working on your physical structure, can lead to a more evolved form of “Self-Love”.
Most people confuse self-love with self-care. Caring about your self inculcates self love. You care about yourself by putting yourself above others, but not in a selfish manner. So, what is the first step to self-love? Close your eyes. Take a deep breath. Focus. Let your mind wander. Take another deep breath. Focus. Open your eyes. The topic your mind wandered towards is one of your biggest show-stoppers: Be it a fear, insecurity, stress, anxiety, or any other thought. So, let’s start with acceptance. Listen to your thoughts. Focus on that thought. Writing it down can be a quicker path to acceptance as you have a visual for it and it tricks your brain to think it is real. Write down only those thoughts for which solid evidence exists. This is to prevent your overthinking from taking over you.
The more you learn to condition your brain to limit unimportant thoughts, the healthier your mental state can become. In crux, taking care of yourself physically is equally as important as taking care of yourself mentally. Mental state has its ups and downs but it is extremely crucial to remember the better times when you are feeling low.
Even if you didn’t read everything, the primary takeaway is: Take care of your mental health, in ways that suit you, in conjunction to taking care of yourself physically. You cannot expect others to love you when you don’t love yourself.