For many, February is considered the month of love, which we often equate with romantic love—but there's another type of love that is equally important, and that is love for ourselves. Sometimes we're so busy attending to the needs of others that we don't spend enough time caring for ourselves. Self-care (or self-love) is not selfish. If we cannot properly take care of ourselves, we cannot properly take care of those we love.
Self-love refers to a regard for our own well-being and happiness. It's about having appreciation for ourselves and who we are. This is unlike narcissistic people who just care for themselves, without regard for the welfare of others. Loving oneself affects our physiological and psychological state of contentment and also influences the type of people we have in our lives.
No one is perfect, so self-love means that we accept ourselves for who we are, acknowledging our strengths and weaknesses without judgment. If we have this type of compassion for ourselves, then we can have it for others.
When we practice self-care, we attend to our needs by getting the right amount of sleep; engaging in physical activities such as daily exercise; and maintaining healthy, intimate, interpersonal relationships that make us feel good about ourselves.
My form of self-care involves writing. It's not only my profession, it's also a practice that makes me feel good, whether I'm writing a poem, journaling, crafting an article, or penning a letter to a loved one. Another way that I engage in self-care is by meditating each day, and either walking on the beach or going to the gym. My muse, my Maltese poodle, Spunky, loves when we take beach walks, and even though he's twelve years old, he still lives up to his name!