Why Self-Love and Self-Care Aren't The Same Thing (Plus My Favorite Self-Love Mantras)


this blog post is part of a series, #oneblogpostaday.

the first part of this series is focused on relationships + love.

Self-care: it’s something we hear about on every freakin’ wellness blog/personal development book/podcast/Ted Talk/too-long Instagram Story. We’ve read the top 5 (10? 20?) ways to cultivate it. We’ve seen the facemasks and baths and walks in the park.

We know - self-care is something we’re supposed to do.

But, self-love is self-care’s less trendy + cool older sister. And even though she doesn’t get as much limelight - self-love is really what we should be after.

Because in my view, self-care is something that we do for external validation. It’s a short-term fix for something that needs a deeper recognition. Don’t get me wrong - there’s a time and a place for self-care for sure. Of course, it feels good to take a breather. To slow down and treat yo’self.

But self-love is more than just feeling good.

Self-love on the other hand is your ongoing relationship with You. It’s an enduring, looong journey that takes endless commitment. It grows and expands with the more compassion we show ourselves. It fades - just like any love - and takes constant attention to keep it healthy.

At it’s core: self-love is believing that we are worthy of love and respect from everyone - especially Ourselves.

As we enter adulthood and in our uber-competitive world today, it’s easy to judge ourselves for all the things. We talk to ourselves like shit: I should have been better. I should have known more. I shouldn’t have sent that email/been the worst in spin class/not eaten that pizza.

“Should” is our gateway word to self-loathing.

And I’ve found that no matter how many beautiful baths or walks in the woods I gift to myself, I still have to do the work to show myself love.

Because developing a true, deep love for ourselves takes time. But when we finally cultivate it, we can side-step those berating words and show ourselves a bit of compassion - even on the most tough days.

Finding that self-love is a different journey for everyone. For me, it’s been really helpful to clear all that stuff away through meditation and journaling. I’ve compiled some of my favorite mantras and reminders that I return to each and every day.

I’ve realized more important than the facemasks and spa dates, I need constant reminders that I am worthy of love.

My favorite self-love mantras

  • “You deserve to be loved. It’s that simple.“

  • “I am not my thoughts. I am not my feelings. I am not my emotions“

  • “Follow your fear, it’s a GPS for your soul.”

  • “Everything I need will flow to me.”

  • “Self-choosing will sometimes look like leaving people behind.”

  • “Broken isn’t bad. Broken isn’t bad. Broken isn’t bad.”

  • “I know I am worthy. I release the fear of not being enough.”

Katina Mountanos