Learning how to be your (own) best friend is a lifelong journey, and it requires self-love. However, you cannot travel that road without caring for yourself along the way. But what’s the difference between self-love and self-care?

I’ll tell you what each one means and how to combine self-love ideas with self-care so you can get the best of both worlds. You’ll leave understanding how to work on self-love and some natural, DIY self-care recipes to try along the way.

Self-Love Vs. Self-Care

The difference between self-love and self-care is subtle but vital for your physical and mental health.

There is a slight overlap between the two, and that’s because one cannot live without the other. It’s impossible to love yourself just by getting your nails done weekly but not practicing self-development. However, you also show that you love yourself by caring for your needs.

Self-Love

Self love is the practice of respecting yourself to develop a healthy relationship with your body, mind, and soul. That means focusing on how you talk to yourself, understanding your needs, and honoring them. Self-love takes longer than self-care because you are changing your mindset, self-worth, self-awareness, and self-esteem. You may have been treating yourself poorly since childhood, so it takes time to overcome past beliefs.

Self-Care

Self-care is the actions you take to enhance your physical, mental, spiritual, and social well-being.

Self-care is vital because you will not have the physical or mental energy to harness self-love if you neglect your body. Eating nutritious foods, bubble baths, and getting enough sleep are ways to practice self-care because they show you are spending time with your own needs. However, these things alone will not heal your mindset.

How to Practice Self Love and Care

1. Drink a Soothing Loose-Leaf Tea During a Self-Therapy Session

Self-Therapy is essential for self-love because it processes trauma, unlocks limiting beliefs, and allows you to learn compassion. It enables you to detangle and organize your thoughts to create a calmer state of mind so you can comfort yourself and objectively problem-solve. All these qualities enhance your way of living because they heal your brain, reduce stress, and positively impact your mental state.

The work you put in is the work you get out. However, therapy sessions can be tough going, especially at the start. An excellent way to combine care and self-love through those difficult times is to create a soothing loose-leaf tea.

The recipe below contains gentle, anti-inflammatory herbs that are great for your body, calm the nervous system, and release dopamine (a happy hormone). Sip on this blend while in self-therapy.

Self-Love Therapy Tea Blend

Ingredients:

 

  • 1 tbs of loose chamomile - chamomile eases your body from fight or flight mode and promotes rest.
  • 1 tbs of dried lavender - lavender relaxes the nervous system, and the aromatic scents are calming to the brain.
  • 1tbs of lemon balm - lemon balm gives this tea blend a pick-me-up to decrease low moods.
  • 1 tsp of honey (optional).

Method:

 

  • Combine all the dried herbs and flowers in a jar and give it a good shake.
  • Add 1-2 tablespoons to a tea strainer, then place in your favorite cup.
  • Pour boiling water over the top, then let steep for 3-5 minutes.
  • Add honey afterward (antibacterial properties).

2. Make a DIY Facemask and Read a Self-Growth | Help Book

Reading books for personal growth is an incredible way to continue self-development from the inside out. They help build a new perspective, teach you how to cope with difficult situations, and recognize your self-worth.

I highly recommend Tara Brach’s Radical Compassion, which explains how you can practically nurture your mind during tough conditions. It's also great for practicing positive affirmations. While you’re reading, why not add a facemask for extra care? This combination takes your mind to another level

Luxury Skin-Brightening DIY Facemask

Ingredients:

 

  • 1 tbs of fresh aloe vera - aloe vera is highly anti-inflammatory and calms redness to the skin.
  • 1 tbs of oats - oats gently exfoliate the skin and will thicken the face mask.
  • ¼ tsp of almond oil - use an oil of your choice if you have a nut allergy (olive oil also works well). The oil moisturizes the face and soaks into the skin.
  • A few drops of willow bark extract - willow bark increases cell turnover to get rid of old dead cells and rejuvenate fresh, new ones.

Method:

 

  • Mix the ingredients in a sterilized bowl.
  • Wash your face, then apply the mask.
  • Leave for 15-20 minutes while sitting back and reading your book!

3. Use an Essential Oil Diffuser While You Meditate

Meditation is key to developing awareness and a healthy relationship with yourself. You can note feelings and recognize negative thoughts. Deep breathing also anchors you during uncomfortable emotions and lowers your heart rate.

Using a scent to signal that it’s time to meditate is the perfect way to settle into practice. Creating a mixture of scents is even more beneficial because you can tailor it to your needs.

Relaxing Essential Oil Blend

Ingredients:

Note: These oils are from the herbs in the Self-Love Therapy Tea Blend- we have to practice sustainability when available.

 

  • 6 drops of chamomile essential oil - chamomile is incredibly soothing and puts the body in a deep state of calm.
  • 6 drops of lavender essential oil - lavender takes the body out of fight or flight mode by relaxing the muscles.
  • 6 drops of lemon balm essential oil - the scent of lemon balm releases endorphins in the brain and promotes focus, ideal if you are meditating.

Method:

 

  • Add water to your oil diffuser. You can use an electric or candle diffuser.
  • Drop in the mixture of essential oils. You can adapt the ratio according to personal preference.
  • Place the diffuser nearby. Don’t have it pointing toward your face or anywhere you might knock it over but ensure it’s close enough for you to inhale the benefits as you meditate.

The Ultimate Difference Between Self Love and Self Care is Learning to Nurture Both

Self-love and care are equally important - you could say they’re the best of friends. Learning to respect and love yourself from the inside works by caring for yourself on the outside. Pay each aspect attention and combine love and care so you can truly look after your body, mind, and soul.