Published by the Students of Johns Hopkins since 1896
September 21, 2021

Self-love is so important

By ROSIE JANG | February 14, 2021

image-from-ios

COURTESY OF ROSIE JANG 

Jang enjoys the company of her Squishmallows.

With Valentine’s Day coming up, I want to reiterate to all the singles, the not-single-but-not-takens and the couples that the best form of love is self-love. You can’t expect to find love in another person when you can’t find it in yourself. 

Self-love doesn’t mean looking in the mirror and loving everything about yourself. It’s about making sure you get enough sleep, taking care of your skin and eating your meals. It doesn’t have to be a strict, veggies-and-fruits-only diet or a vegan salad every dinner, and it definitely doesn’t mean you have to go to bed at 10 p.m. every single night. It’s about having “Me Time.”

Me Time is about doing what you love and finding yourself at peace while doing it. You heal without knowing that you’re healing. It’s what keeps you going for your next down time, when you find yourself at odds with the world. You might not even know what this activity is for you. Before moving on any further, ask yourself, “What is my ‘Me Time’ activity?”

Despite all of those tweets and posts that simply say, “Stop comparing yourself to others,” and “Be kind to yourself,” it’s obviously not that simple. It takes time to heal, and this gradual process is not always evident right away. Everybody’s journey is different. Taking time to add small changes into your life one by one, like adding one more veggie to your diet or getting yourself another Squishmallow to cuddle in bed, can lead to a lot more positive outcomes than you think. 

As for another example, you can go on a walk. But if you don’t feel like being active, then take a nap! Doing nothing isn’t exactly “doing nothing.” Maybe you’re watching just Netflix or scrolling through Instagram, and there’s nothing wrong with that. You do need a break once in a while from doing things you don’t want to be doing — and this does count as Me Time! If you need more ideas on what your Me Time could possibly be, then you can also consult Google for your best answers. Personally, I take my Me Time by being with my dog — from napping together with the Squishmallow to taking a walk outside in the crisp winter air, anything we do together is healing.

After you read this, take 10 minutes in each day to do something for yourself. Set this sacred time aside and mark it as your Me Time, just to do whatever you want to do (even if you were just on YouTube two hours ago and want to do it again). As long as you get into the habit of doing this, you’ll find yourself doing better than you were a year, month or even a couple of days ago.

And when you hit another low in your life, know that you’ll be better in the future. Think of the last misfortune you had in the past, and look at yourself now: Are you the same person? Or did you learn and grow from that experience to be the person you are today? You might still be in the learning process, but even that deserves a lot more recognition than you think. You’ve had way more successes in your life than you account for, and one small mistake should not be able to triumph over that. I can definitely get upset after a small inconvenience, even if the week was full of productivity and a “let’s make it happen” mindset. It’s inevitable, but it’s helpful to keep in mind that you are not your mistakes.

Your life is really all about you, despite how self-conceited that sounds. Everything that happens comes back to you, so as cliché as it sounds, treat yourself like the world revolves around you. (because technically, it does — in your world, yes). Obsessing over past embarrassing moments only affects you; there’s no one who thinks of that moment as much as you do, and they probably don’t even remember it at all. Mistakes and embarrassments only define you as a human being.

Self-love is definitely a hard journey for everybody, and there is no clear end goal to it. It’s up to each individual to undertake this journey for themselves and find themselves at a better place than they used to be in. The drugs, alcohol, toxic friendships/relationships and just “faking it” gives you temporary satisfaction in your life, only to hit you with the regrets and self-loathing afterward. So next time, why don’t you just take that Me Time for the path to self-love? 

Don’t worry about how to get there and how to fully achieve self-love, because quite frankly, there’s no one who fully understands the process. Figuring it out step by step is a part of it, and that journey involves just living and doing what you love, whenever and wherever. Happy Valentine’s Day to all my fellow journey-goers!

Rosie Jang is a sophomore from L.A., Calif and a Photography Editor for The News-Letter. She is studying psychology and molecular and cellular biology.

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