Self-love can be elusive for all kinds of reasons. Some of us worry it is egotistical or selfish; some of us just can't seem to find the time. Real self-love is caring for yourself and making empowered choices—and that's worth finding time for. So, what does self-care actually look like?
I used to think self-care meant being a kick-ass wellness warrior, ticking off every box on the checklist: drink green juice, work out, stay under calorie count, and so on. But, in truth, this way of life was exhausting—I didn't feel cared for at all. And I always felt like something was missing.
I was trying so hard to control everything around me—my schedule, my weight, my habits—a place for everything and everything in its place. But, it turns out, I had it all wrong. I hated my job at the time, and I was silently suffering from drug addiction and body dysmorphia. I was diagnosed with clinical depression. That's when I started to see that what was missing was me. I was trying to fit into someone else's idea of fitness, healthiness, and happiness, not mine.
So, it seemed that if I wanted to be happier and healthier, I would need to get to know me—the real me. Unlike most people, I didn't start small. I went on a three-year journey to dig deep into my own truth, into the nature of self-care, and into the question of why we find it so hard to appreciate ourselves.
Eventually, I decided to turn my research into a book. A big part of that process was reaching out to wellness coaches and true scions of self-care to learn how they learned to love themselves and to get their insights on what we all need to achieve lasting self-love. Here are seven of their transformative secrets: