Updated: Nov 15, 2020
Mental health issues can result from many different things: major events in our life, concerns about our past and our future, or simply a sense of a loss of control. Another is a loss of confidence and of our self-worth. In this post, Self Love Diary and Us highlights the practice of 'self-love' and its power in dealing with mental health concerns.
For almost six months of my life, I battled with depression. I went to bed every night not wanting to wake up the next day. I would cry myself to sleep every night and panic and anxiety attacks were a part of my normal routine.
It was the hardest time of my life. Until I came to the realisation that the only person who could change my life was me and nobody else. Only I could make myself feel better and I wouldn’t be able to come out of this if I didn’t help myself.
I started doing various activities like colouring and exercising, and incorporated grounding techniques into my everyday life to keep my anxiety under control. I started prioritising my mental health over others, I stopped cursing myself for feeling a certain way and I started loving myself a little more each day.
It worked wonders. By practicing self-love, I was able to overcome what felt like a challenge I had no answer to.
For many people though, the idea of ‘self-love’ isn’t a serious concept. Many think it’s about taking hot showers, lighting scented candles, enjoying a cup of coffee or tea, experiencing good food, or maybe giving yourself some retail therapy.
But it’s so much more than that. Self-love is about truly feeling happy and content with where you are in life. It’s about not hating yourself when you look in the mirror and being happy for yourself and others. It’s about forgiving ourselves for our mistakes and sometimes putting our needs before others. It’s not just a physical process, it’s about conquering and keeping our demons in check.
People with mental health issues fight a battle every single day which people other than the person experiencing it will never truly understand. Yet, in 2020, there are still those that don’t realise what anxiety, depression or panic attacks can do to you. Unfortunately, there are even those that simply don’t want to know. That means it can be hard for those of us with these issues to find an outlet for what we’re feeling and why we’re feeling a certain way, leading us down a path of self-hate.
But this isn’t the only path available to us – we have the power to change it. By stopping any blame we place on ourselves and truly accepting who we are, we can forge our own path where we take ourselves and our feelings seriously, giving us the time to learn our self-worth and build our confidence. A path where we can truly find our happiness and forge a relationship with ourselves that, rather than being built on self-hate, is instead built on self-love.
Self Love Diary and Us is a mental health blog that aims to help people build long-lasting, genuinely loving and fulfilling relationships with themselves by unpacking unhealthy beauty standards and challenging constructs that have limited our ability to self-love. It provides a space where people can talk about their problems honestly, without fear of judgement. Follow Self Love Diary and Us on Instagram at @selflovediaryandus.