Words by Madisen Quick
"Self-care is survival. Self-love is sacred."
When I came across these words the other day, I stopped in my tracks. I learned about self-care when I entered college, but the idea of something even more loving than self-care was completely new.
We're all friends here so I'll be honest with you– I struggle to even care for myself. And I know I'm not alone in this. So you might be thinking, "Madisen, self-love sounds sweet and all, but I'm struggling with this self-care thing to begin with!" All I can say is I hear you, so stick with me.
Ever since I learned about self-care vs. self-love, I've been poring over the terms and here's the important distinction:
Self-care is surface level. My self-care is usually getting 7 hours of sleep a night, a soothing face mask on Friday night, and not getting Chick-fil-A for the third time this week. If I'm feeling especially self-caring, it might be a Gilmore Girls marathon and bullet journaling.
Self-love goes beyond this to nurture and tend to the entire self. Self-care is certainly a part of self-love, but it's not all of it. It's less of getting your gas tank filled and more of getting a whole car tune-up. I think of it like this– there's a difference between how I act when I care about a person and when I love a person.
Before we get too woo-woo, don't forget self-love can be just as action-oriented as self-care. And it doesn't have to be any more time-consuming than self-care either. So next time getting a pedicure just isn't doing it for your soul, consider adding an act of self-love into the mix. Here are some ideas to get you started:
1. Acknowledge The Bad Feelings
In the name of self-care, what I often do is simply stifle the bad feelings. A good rom-com soothes me, but doesn't actually address my concerns, disappointments, or frustrations. Instead, write about what you're feeling, chat with a close friend about it. Live in the discomfort of it for a little bit and take the time to really work through these feelings for yourself.
2. Shut Down Social Media (Before It's Too Late)
The great thing about self-love is that it can be preemptive. So if I know I'm feeling especially comparison-y on a certain day, I'm going to redirect. Go for a walk. Call my mom. Journal about things I'm great at. This way my day doesn't end in a deep dive into Instagram Discover and a heart full of doubt to go with it.
3. Treat Yourself With Confidence
Not too long ago, we had a great chat on our Facebook page and one of our readers, Abby, who is a college professor, talked about how often her female students phrased their answers in questions. And I have to tell you- I am so guilty. So this week, my goal is to phrase all of my answers as statements (even when I might be wrong) because we all deserve the love of confidence in ourselves.
So, I'd challenge you to write down three ways you're going to practice self-love this week. I'd love to hear what you come up with so comment below and let me know what's in your self-love routine!
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Madisen Quick is the Assistant to the Editor-in-Chief at Holl & Lane Magazine. She is currently a senior at Wellesley College where she studies English and mathematics.