Discovering the concept of self love in midlife has turned out to be a unique and joyful experience. When we, midlifers, were growing up the concept of self love was unheard of. Female midlifers, especially, were taught from young that servitude and self-sacrifice was the pathway to happiness and acceptance. Following the rules of society by giving your all to your job and your family was, we were told, the route to societal acceptance that would result in happiness. The concept of self love was non-existent in our psyche.

When I came across self love I was, initially, dismissive of it. It reeked of self indulgence and self primacy. Over time it started to dawn on me that self love actually means boosting your own self-esteem. Practising self love translates into doing things which support your mental and physical well being. It’s a bit like the Oxygen Mask theory, if you don’t look after yourself you will not be able to be your best self. A poorer version of you will not be as fulfilled and happy.

Self love isn’t just about putting your arms around yourself though that does help sometimes. Examples of things that you could do to practice self love are taking the time to find out what is important to you; or taking action to achieve your ambitions and dreams.

Self love is about putting yourself first but not in a selfish way. It isn’t about ignoring other people’s needs. It’s about factoring your needs and wants into the scheme of your life.

Give it a go. Self love works.