Winter quarter, for many Western students, is a time to practice something vital to well-being: self-love. It is a concept that everyone understands and practices in different ways, the key is finding your own.
“I try to spend time with other people,” sophomore Ryan Thon said. “It gives me a chance to do nothing but sit and listen and sometimes, although I try not to, sit and talk. But that can also be relaxing and a way to get stuff off of my chest, which I think is self-love.”
For some people, like Thon, seeking outward connections fulfills internal needs. In winter, when days are shorter and weather darker, spending time with the people we love is incredibly therapeutic and relieves the feeling of isolation many students experience.
“When there are people around you that love you, I think that listening and sharing is important to understand each other, and also to understand yourself. To me that is self-love,” Thon said.
Self-love can be less nuanced than introspection and self-understanding, encompassing practices as simple as eating well and listening to your body.
Western sophomore Ellie Bacchus expressed the importance these simple self-care practices have in her own life.
“I try to take time to make sure I have a good meal,” said sophomore Ellie Bacchus. “If I have free time, it’s good to take time to engage in all of my hobbies and other interests besides school.”
A quintessential element to practicing self-love is focusing on the way we talk to ourselves. Positive self-talk is when someone pays attention to their internal dialogue and notices when those thoughts become self-depreciating or critical. From there, it requires thinking about why those thoughts are negative and replacing them with a thought of confidence and self-worth. When people are thoughtless, there is more room for negativity that goes unmonitored.
Self-reflection, for Western junior David Mendez, is consistently a priority in practicing self-love.
“On a daily basis, I walk home from school instead of the bus,” Western junior David Mendez said. “During that walk, I try to reflect on what happened during the day, focusing on the positive first, and then whatever negatives that happened. I realize that they help me grow, too.”