No Love Lost: Finding Self-Love Through Intentional Practice 

 In Voices of Young People

In honor of February, the month of love, we asked members of our Springtide Ambassadors Program (SAP) to share how they’ve made personal strides toward greater self-love or self-care. For some, prioritizing specific activities helped generate greater self-love. Below, SAP members Joelle and Noah discuss how their journeys to recognize who they truly were resulted in a deeper love for themselves.

My high school guidance counselor once told me that the journey to self-love is lifelong. In fact, the journey to self-love is infinite, but rarely easy. A lot of work goes into maintaining my mental well-being all year round. Here is a list of practices I regularly undertake for self-care: 

Lifting weights. I cannot stress enough how much lifting weights at the gym has contributed to my self-care. Physical health is intricately connected to mental health, and the process of pushing my physical limits has a profound impact on my mental strength. The discipline and dedication required for weightlifting translate into a resilient mindset, making me feel mentally stronger as well. 

Establishing a routine. Having a routine provides a sense of structure and predictability in my life. This not only helps in time management but also offers a sense  of control, reducing anxiety and stress. Knowing what to expect each day creates a stable foundation for my mental well-being, making it easier to navigate through life’s challenges. 

Taking it easy when stressed. Recognizing when stress is taking its toll is crucial for self-care. Instead of pushing through, I’ve learned to take it easy when I feel overwhelmed. Whether it’s a short break, a few deep breaths, or stepping back to reassess priorities, giving myself the grace to take a step back has proven to be an essential part of my self-care routine. 

Going on walks. When I find myself unable to decompress, going on walks becomes a therapeutic escape. There’s something magical about breathing in fresh air and immersing myself in nature. The calming effect of a stroll, coupled with the beauty of the surroundings, has a soothing impact on my mind. Nature, in itself, has a healing quality that never fails to uplift my spirits.

The journey to self-love is a continuous process that requires dedication and conscious effort. Incorporating these self-care practices into my routine has been instrumental in helping me maintain my mental well-being. From the physical strength gained through lifting weights to the tranquility found in nature, each element contributes to the holistic approach that I take toward self-love. It’s not about achieving perfection but embracing the journey with compassion and self-kindness. 



Springtide Ambassador (22 –Illinois)



Springtide Ambassador
(22 –Illinois)

I do many practices in my life to further my self-love and care. Here are a few of the biggest and most important activities.  

I sort out my thoughts—and it helps tremendously. I have a journal that I’ve started using recently where I write down whatever I choose, and it takes things that were swirling in my mind down to paper. This helps organize my ideas and results in a lot less stress. Whether it’s school-related, friend-related, or something else, I’ve probably written about it. I also walk my dog. When I walk her, I feel grounded and it takes all the busy and stressful parts of my day and compresses it to make it more manageable.  

I hang out with friends. This is something of an escape from anything that ails me, and while I don’t do anything to fix the problems, forgetting about them for a little while is a blissful experience.  

I spend time outdoors. Nature helps me feel centered, which is just so valuable. It allows me to think about the plights of life and how I can better manage them, instead of having them build up and overflow.  

I make time for family, which is incredibly important to me. Most of my relatives live thousands of miles away, but I still find time to call them to catch up and chat. Family helps me with issues that plague me, and that’s not even mentioning what my parents accomplish for me. My close family also has a group that I deeply enjoy. We call it Small Group, and it’s just a few families who get together and discuss what’s on our minds. I love being able to get it all out there and have not only a second opinion but a third, fourth, and fifth about how I should act. We actually have a book group, reading philosophy and religious books. 

I read constantly. It calms me down and provides an escape into another, more carefree world. 

I work on centering myself. Recently, I’ve started reciting affirmations, and this helps me feel better about my actions in life. Self-positivity helps me so much, and it makes me feel better even in the darkest hours. Meditation also helps me ground myself. It’s a time of reflection that I cherish deeply. Cooking, surprisingly, also accomplishes this. The feeling of having to toil on a task for hours before seeing the end product puts things into perspective. It makes mistakes that I dwell on seem smaller in comparison.

All of these are key to my mental health, and without them I would be in a constant flux of self-doubt and anxiety.



Springtide Ambassador (15 –Wisconsin)



Springtide Ambassador
(15 –Wisconsin)

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