A few months ago, the concept of “love yourself” came to the forefront of my mind after I started listening to an album by BTS called Love Yourself: ζ‰Ώ Her. In an interview, the leader of the group, RM, says, “If you can’t love yourself, you also can’t love other people. You mistake other people’s love and wander. You need to think about ways to love yourself. We’re in a time period where, through social media, you can easily know how others are living, but paradoxically, loving yourself may be the answer.”

In an era where stress about life, work, and school (midterms anyone?πŸ“š) seems everywhere, the concept of “love yourself” can be more important than ever. But although I made it my goal to treat myself better this year, it was difficult to define what that meant. Sure, when it came to taking care of my physical health, I could try to eat healthy 🍽, sleep more πŸ’€, exercise πŸ’ͺ, and drink more water 🚰. However, when it came to taking care of my mental health, I was less sure on how to proceed. I knew that being grateful and having a sense of humor are important, but emotions can be complicated.

One thing I realized is how much more willing I am to do things for others than for myself. Take cooking for example. I will take the effort and time to make better food for others than I will for myself. Or in the case of gifts, I am more willing to make or buy presents for others than for myself. While in “The Only Way to Keep Your Resolutions” (2017), DeSteno explains why people put more effort for others by describing how social bonds (and the gratitude and compassion that come with them) can increase self control and perseverance, the concept of “love yourself” reminded me to pay more attention to being kinder and more caring towards myself πŸ’•.

A week ago, I happened to read about self-compassion, which according to Wong (2017), is “treating yourself with the same kindness, care and concern you show a loved one”. College can be stressful, life can be stressful, and it can be easy to cross the line between critical and overly critical. Realizing and accepting that we’re imperfect in an imperfect world 🌎 can give perspective to our problems, help us develop resilience, and may even reveal how much we have in common πŸ€“.

In the process of figuring out how to “love myself” both physically and mentally, I learned how important self-compassion, self-care, and social bonds can be. Although it may be difficult, I hope we all try to accept our flaws to work to improve them, and to forgive ourselves when we fail. In the year ahead, please remember to treat yourselves with the same amount of compassion and respect you use to treat others 😊❀️!

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