Self-love means different things to different people. What does it mean to you?

To some, it could mean standing up for yourself and drawing boundaries; to others, it could mean listening to yourself and forgiving yourself

By Delna Mistry Anand

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Published: Thu 16 Feb 2023, 9:27 PM

Last updated: Thu 16 Feb 2023, 9:28 PM

I can buy myself flowers

Write my name in the sand

Talk to myself for hours

Say things you don’t understand

I can take myself dancing

And I can hold my own hand

Yeah, I can love me better than you can

You would have heard this catchy song, Flowers by Miley Cyrus, which is claiming and maintaining the number one spot across the charts for its third week after release. The ultimate self-love anthem of 2023, Miley talks about its importance as she goes through her own journey of healing after a painful (and very public) heartbreak. Flowers highlights the power and freedom of recognising that you don’t need anyone or anything else to feel complete; happiness and completion come from within yourself.

With February being the month of love, there’s always so much hype about showing love to our significant others. In recent times, more and more has also been said about showing love to ourselves. We know how important it is, but what does self-love actually mean, and how do you cultivate it if you haven’t done it before?

Self-love means different things to different people. To some, it could mean standing up for yourself and drawing boundaries; to others, it could mean listening to yourself and forgiving yourself. However, self-love is a lifelong commitment. It is a practice that is cultivated and grown, just like any other relationship. When you practise self-love, you build self-esteem, self-worth and self-respect, which can lead to better decision-making, stronger boundaries, and a more positive outlook on life.

Self-love is confident, warm and caring. It’s the complete embrace of who and what you are — a fully rounded appreciation of yourself. In today’s highly competitive world, it is not just a pretty social media trend but a necessary life skill, which so many people have never fully grasped.

To build a deeper sense of commitment with self, there are four key aspects: mental, emotional, physical and spiritual. A good way to start loving yourself is by attending to each of these aspects:


• Be mindful of your consumption of toxic media

• Reduce consumption of mobile data and reconnect with the great outdoors

• Read a book that uplifts you, makes you laugh, and makes you think


• Build your muscle to self-awareness, growth, and healing

• Strengthen and leverage your social support network/reconnect with family or friends

• Show acts of kindness


• Stretch, walk, exercise, do yoga

• Get a good night’s sleep

• Follow your circadian rhythm

• Reduce consumption of toxins in food

• Fast for 12-14 hours a day

• Hydrate your body

• Reduce caffeine

• Look after your health with a complete medical check-up once a year


• Meditate

• Walk barefoot on grass or earth

• Spend quiet moments without talking

• Spend time in fresh air

• Pray

• Journal, reflect

And listen to Miley’s song if you haven’t already, it will surely inspire you to dance and celebrate yourself!

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