Yes, you're special. It's not just a cheesy term or us flattering. By definition of what special is, we are all special, and we each have something about us that makes us unique to those around us. You might not even be able to see this yet because we really don't take any time of the day to think about that. Focusing on your uniqueness and appreciating who you are in this moment right now is huge act of self-love. We deserve to make an effort in giving love to ourselves, instead of waiting around for it from those around us. You are your only constant daily companion, you are there with yourself in every step, you experience all the moments of happiness, sadness, frustration, weakness and strength. You never really leave you, and so you have the absolute right to be give yourself love, appreciation and support. I know you this maybe a little confusing, but that's why I'm here to talk about what is actually self-love and how to practice self-love...

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What does self-love mean?

Staying away from all the complex meanings and explanations...self-love simply means accepting yourself as is, with your faults, flaws and features. It means that you appreciate, support and take care of yourself. It is a collection of feelings and actions that you do, that could be very simple or huge, but in the end, they give you emotional, moral and physical support. These actions help you give yourself what you deserves, know your value, and not accept less than you deserve, and most importantly, give yourself enough care and attention without waiting for it to happen from others. Self-love is the first step towards emotional stability and inner peace. It is the first gateway to understanding the true meaning of love.

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Is there a specific way to give yourself love?

Of course not. We each have our own way of caring for ourselves and making 'us' happy. To be honest with you, self-love is a long journey of exploration, in which you get to know yourself more, what makes you happy, what make you feel supported, what makes you feel better, what makes you believe in yourself and abilities and what makes you look at yourself in the mirror, proud with love and appreciation. It may be a long journey, but it is a very important and very beautiful one.

So how do you practice self-love?

As we said, there is no specific way to practice self-love, but if you are looking for a guide to help you know where to start or guide you, these points will help you explore yourself...

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1. Work on your awareness

You cannot know your preferences, what to look for, or what makes you happy, without focusing on yourself and your awarness. Be conscious of yourself, notice what make you happy, what brings up your mood and even what trigger you, weakens your self confidence, what makes you feel tired and down. Write everything down because it will help later.

2. Set some control

After taking this first step, you now have a somewhat understanding of what you need, what makes you happy and what's not good for your mental health. But there are some days where all you'll want is to stay in bed, and that's okay. You have the right to do that, but sometimes we have to push ourselves a little and put in the effort to motivate ourselves to get up. That's why a little control and will power is sometimes needed. 

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3. Acting based on your analysis

After going through the first and second steps, you can then make a sort of like a schedule based on your analysis of yourself and the control that you have set. I want do this, I will avoid that, I need a little push with this, and so on... 

4. Rewarding yourself 

Rewarding yourself is one of the most important things about self-love. It is important to give yourself enough love everyday, but it is also incredible to reward yourself and pamper yourself greatly from time to time. For example, if you like changing your hair color or hairstyle, and that's something you can't do everyday, you can set a day to do so every 2 months or so, as a reward for yourself. You can also buy something you really want as a gift for yourself. 

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Remember: Self-love can be as simple as a cup of your favorite drink at the end of each day!

Is self-love selfish, and what's the difference between self-love and selfishness?

Before, when we used to say that 'I love myself', we would find a lot of people telling us that that's really arrogant and selfish. But today, thankfully, there's more awareness about self-love. We now know that self-love is really important and essential for our mental health. But it might still be confusing for some people what's the difference between self-love and selfishness?

Simply put, self-love has nothing at all to do with selfishness. There is a huge difference between them...

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Self-love: As we said before, it is about giving yourself love, attention, appreciation, and care, and accepting yourself with all your positive traits and even flaws. It is simply the search for mental  stability and inner peace. This also helps us to be even more loving to those around us and be more giving. It helps improve your relationship with yourself and everyone else. 

Selfishness: However, with selfishness, you only see yourself, your needs, and your desires, without any consideration to those around you. Simply put, selfishness is looking out for your own  interest, even if it is at the expense of others.

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As you can see, by simply explaining both, it becomes clear that self-love does not at all mean selfishness. There is no shame in saying "I love myself" or practicing self-love. 

Give yourself some love, you deserve it!

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