Ever since Covid-19 hit and changed everyone’s way of life, there’s been so much talk about the need for self-care and self-love to help us weather the pandemic.
But self-love goes beyond multi-masking, DIY aromatherapy or indulgent shopping sprees. It’s also not just about being proud of your body (though that’s a good start) and taking pro-active steps to look after your mental and emotional wellbeing.
True self-love is being free of self-doubt, to be confident of your worth, and be utterly happy with yourself just the way you are, warts and all. No apologies, no I’m-not-good-enough and certainly, no desire to be anyone else.
For The Body Shop, this ethos of self-love and healthy self-esteem is hardwired into its DNA. Way back in 1997, the company was already championing body positivity with a self-esteem campaign that featured a plus-sized doll named Ruby and the slogan, “There are 3 billion women who don’t look like supermodels and only 8 who do.”
More recently, the brand commissioned a massive study on self-love, the results of which were used to build The Body Shop Global Self Love Index. Conducted in late 2020, the study interviewed 22,000 people across 21 countries including China, Japan, the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, France and Russia.
The results are sobering. On a scale of 0 to 100, the average self-love score was a measly 53. This means that nearly half the people around the world fall on the negative side of the scale (below 50) and identify more with self-doubt than self-love. Six in 10 people wish they had more respect for themselves, and four in 10 say they feel useless at times.
So, what can we do to love ourselves more and quash the insecurities and negativity that bring us down? It’s going to be an ongoing process, but for a start, try these simple, everyday tips.
Self-love tip #1: Go offline for a digital detox
Psychologists have found that a major barrier to well-being is social comparison. Simply put, we rate ourselves according to how we stack up next to our peers.
Especially now, with social media showing us a constant feed of other people’s seemingly perfect lives, the comparisons and pressure to keep up appearances are relentless. The index findings also found that among those who use social media, six in 10 say they act happy to please others.
So take a little time out every day from social media, or put aside your phone and gadgets entirely for a few hours for a digital detox. Make use of the lull to connect with yourself instead.
Even better, take the chance to detox your skin while you relax. Slather on a face mask like The Body Shop Himalayan Charcoal Purifying Glow Mask for some tender, loving deep-cleansing. Using bamboo charcoal, green tea leaves and tea tree oil, this tingling clay mask will suck out oil and gunk, so skin looks fresh and clear. You can find it here.
Self-love tip #2: Make nature your friend
Go for a walk in the park, potter around your home garden, or fuss with your indoor plants. Believe us, you’ll feel better, lighter and clearer-minded after.
Why? Because when we connect with nature and take in fresh air, even just for 15 minutes a day, our level of serotonin – that’s the body’s happy chemical – goes up. More and more studies also show that the more we’re in the natural environment, the better our health and well-being.
In fact, don’t stop there – work the goodness of nature into your skincare routine too, such as The Body Shop Drops of Youth Concentrate. Made with 99 per cent ingredients of natural origin, this lightweight moisturising and protective serum uses the power of plants like edelweiss and moringa to deliver bouncy, fresh skin that glows with health. You can find it here.
Self-love tip #3: Remember – You. Are. Fab.
Yes, we know it’s not easy to be totally free of self-doubt and insecurities. But don’t fall into the trap of being overly critical of yourself. After all, you have to live with yourself 24-7, so why not be nice, stop beating yourself up and learn to enjoy your own company?
Instead of nit-picking on flaws, focus on the wonderful qualities you have. A tip from psychologists: Practise five positive affirmations a day, such as telling yourself “I am loved” or “I can do this”.
Self-love tip #4: It’s okay to say no
Don’t feel obliged to agree to things. Setting boundaries, and saying no to people or situations you don’t want to be in, is already an act of self-love. It is a commitment to prioritising yourself and shutting out negative influences or toxic individuals.
In fact, try saying no to one thing today – and don’t apologise for it. As The Body Shop study shows, women with low self-love are five times more likely to rely on what others think about them for their self-esteem.
Once you turn away from the stuff that do you no good, you’ll have space for more positive things and people who truly appreciate you – and be on your way to self-love.
While you’re enjoying the personal space you’ve carved out, pamper yourself a little. Try kicking back with a deluxe home facial experience by putting on a luxurious-feeling mask like The Body Shop British Rose Fresh Plumping Mask. A sensory treat with a refreshing gel texture and the addictive scent of British roses in spring, this is a pick-me-up that plumps and tones skin while lifting your mood. You can find it here.
Self-love tip #5: Stay tight with family and friends
What’s the key difference between very happy people and those who aren’t? Well, studies suggest that it comes down to having good friendships.
According to research, 71 per cent of people turn to their family and friends in times of stress. And going by the index findings, those who get the social and emotional support they need tend to have higher self-love scores than those who feel they’re lacking these connections.
So do yourself and those dear to you a favour by checking in with them frequently.
Start your self-love journey today
Join The Body Shop community and share your act of self-love by tagging @thebodyshopsg and #SelfLoveUprising.
You can also inspire others and spread the self-love message in your conversations by downloading The Body Shop’s Whatsapp self-love sticker pack, or use the brand’s giphys on Instagram and Facebook (search for “Self Love Uprising”).
Her World Readers
Tell us how you practice self-love and stand a chance to win a gift set from The Body Shop. There are three sets, each worth $67, to be won. Just fill up the form below and submit it by April 14, 2021.
Each gift set includes:
1 x The Body Shop Drops of Youth™ Youth Gentle Foamwash, $27
1 x The Body Shop Drops of Youth™ Youth Bouncy Eye Mask, $40
Brought to you by The Body Shop