Opinion: The Importance of Self-Love

A+RHS+student+hangs+a+sticky+note+that+says+%22Love+yourself%22+on+the+bathroom+mirror+to+advocate+for+self-love.

Emma Haun

A RHS student hangs a sticky note that says "Love yourself" on the bathroom mirror to advocate for self-love.

Self-love. Depending on who you are, this word may subject you to thoughts of exercise, memories of doing face masks, or yoga may even pop into your mind. But no matter who you are, it is vital to recognize the importance that the word holds. 

According to medicalnewstoday.com, many people view self-love as a luxury rather than a necessity.

The website stated, “Many psychology studies attest, self-love and compassion are key for mental health and well-being, keeping depression and anxiety at bay…”

But how do we focus on achieving self-love when we are met every day with unrealistic societal expectations through social media or when we’re focused on what others think of us? 

For myself, it’s insanely difficult to find the will to appreciate and love myself when I see other people who look, think, and act differently than I do. I’ve come to realize that, unfortunately, I’m not the only person who feels this way.

In a survey of 37 RHS students, 64.9% admitted that they struggle with loving the person they are, ranging from personality to appearance.  

One anonymous RHS student stated, “We need to stop comparing ourselves because we’re all so beautiful & unique. There’s literally nothing to compare.”

While it’s easy to say you’ll do something, it isn’t always easy to carry out the task. It can be hard to achieve self-love when we are so worried about how we look or act in comparison to others.

Medicalnewstoday.com shared that many people lack self-love due to being “…driven by a desire to excel and do everything right, all the time. This entails a lot of self-criticism…” 

Perhaps if we were more kind to ourselves through practicing self-love, everyone would be happier in the long run, regardless of how difficult it is for us to find something we love within ourselves. Sometimes the best ways to practice self-love are physical, through exercising or making sure you wash your face, but other times it’s the mental aspect that needs your focus. For example, I try to note one thing I like about myself each day. 

The same anonymous student stated they practice self-love by, “…taking care of myself & becoming a person that’s not only “pretty” on the outside but kind & intelligent on the inside.”

Self-love won’t happen overnight. You can’t always just make a decision to love yourself unconditionally, but you can work towards it every day and strive to unapologetically be yourself and recognize your worth. 

Sometimes it’s easiest to focus on the things we want to change and on the negative thoughts we have, or on the cruel comments other people have made. However, self-love will begin when you accept that no matter how you act, no matter what your grades are, and no matter what you look like, you deserve to be loved by others, and you especially deserve to be loved by yourself.