The importance of self-love

Wellness begins with being kind to yourself
Happy, self-confident woman laughing

In the age of social media and selfies, it really looks like everyone is obsessed with themselves. But practicing true self-love is so much deeper than posting and boasting. It’s about understanding and accepting yourself, as well as tending to your own needs.

In fact, your emotional and physical well-being depends on your ability to practice self-love. Here are some things you can do:

Find a sense of purpose

Waking up in the morning with the motivation to “get up and go” usually goes hand-in-hand with having purpose. You may feel a sense of purpose when you work or volunteer for a company or organization that relies on you, or when you’re there for the people in your life who need you.

  • Having purpose actually lowers your risk of disease - A purposeful life is linked to many health benefits, including better sleep and a lower risk of strokes, heart attacks, dementia, disability, and premature death. In fact, for people over the age of 65, a sense of purpose can help them lead longer lives.
  • Purpose leads to taking better care of yourself - When you have a sense of purpose, you’re more likely to keep up with preventive health measures such as mammograms, colonoscopies, and flu shots and this can lead to living longer and healthier.

You’ve probably heard people talk about their body being their temple. It turns out that treating it that way can do you a lot of good. Ways to “worship” your body include eating nutritious food, exercising, and even meditating all things that can also do wonders for your mental health. A healthy body is a gift that keeps on giving. When you pay attention to your body and mind, you’re more open to making lifestyle changes that can further enhance your health.

Accept yourself

If you’re like most people, you have lots of obligations to work, family, and friends. But what about feeling obligated to yourself? Self-care means taking a moment for some “me time” on a regular basis to do the things that make you happy. Binge-watch your favorite show, steal away for some quiet reading time, or splurge on a spa treatment. The little things you do for yourself can have a big impact on your overall health and well-being.

Set boundaries

Are you someone who finds it hard to say no? We all want to please other people, but sometimes saying yes is simply not good for us. Is there a person in your life who takes advantage of you? Saying no to someone who’s too much of a “taker” is a way to set a healthy boundary for yourself. A good way to determine when you should set a boundary is to recognize how you feel. If you feel pressured by someone, that’s a good sign that you should just say no.

Choose your friends wisely

Are your friends true friends? If you have people in your life who you feel don’t support you, it’s a good idea to limit time with them. Surrounding yourself with friends and family who want to celebrate your accomplishments, and who feel bad along with you when things don’t go your way, is very important for your emotional well-being.

Be true to yourself

A healthier life is the goal. The first step to getting there is to be your own best friend and supporter and to take care of yourself and your needs. Before you can love and support others, you need to love and support yourself. This will enable you to be there for others who depend on you.

To help you make meaningful, manageable changes to your lifestyle, Blue Shield offers a suite of total health programs called Wellvolution®, which you can join at no additional cost. These programs offer lifestyle-based approaches to health. For example, the Walkadoo® program can keep your body moving, the Diabetes Prevention Program can help you lose weight, and QuitNet® can help you quit smoking.

You can also take advantage of the many discounts our plans offer on fitness equipment, massage, acupuncture, chiropractic care, vitamins, and supplements.

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