Teen Talk: Self-Love 
Teen Talk. Photo of teens laughing together.
Hey teens, let’s talk! 

I'm Taylor, one of the Youth Services librarians at Aurora Central Library.  
Cartoon Taylor  
Each month at the Aurora Public Library, I cover a variety of topics for teens. This month’s blog is all about self-love.  
Swing by the Aurora Central Library's teen area to browse books, resources, and activities related to the monthly topic. 

Cartoon of person hugging himself 

Self-love. We hear this term quite frequently nowadays, but… What does it really mean? How do we cultivate it? Why is it important?

Self-love: “regard for one's own well-being and happiness” –Oxford Dictionary 

Self love in heart in center. Phrases on colorful sections around the heart. Phrases include don't compare yourself, note the things you're proud of, let go of past mistakes, say yes to things you love, speak kindly to yourself and let yourself rest.

Self-Love and What It Means:

“Self-love is a state of appreciation for oneself that grows from actions that support our physical, psychological and spiritual
growth. Self-love means having a high regard for your own well-being and happiness. Self-love means taking care of
your own needs and not sacrificing your well-being to please others. Self-love means not settling for less than you deserve.” 

The line that really sticks out to me in this definition is: “Self-love means taking care of your own needs and not sacrificing your well-being to please others.”

I struggle a lot with ignoring my own needs in order to remain “responsible, productive, or a good friend/partner” when it actually is hurting me and hinders my ability to show up for my friends, family and coworkers. It is easy to push, push, push and think we are doing what is right. However, our bodies and minds will find ways to slow us down and stop us if we are not paying attention to our needs. Practicing self-love and learning what you need is difficult and does not happen overnight. Remember to give yourself some grace and trust yourself. 

Examples of self-love:
• Talking to and about yourself with love
• Prioritizing yourself
• Giving yourself a break from self-judgement
• Trusting yourself
• Being true to yourself
• Being nice to yourself
• Setting healthy boundaries
• Forgiving yourself when you aren’t being true or nice to yourself
A list of various ways one can practice self-love

How to (Really) Practice Self Love: 4 Things to Remember:

“Self-love isn’t just saying yes to things that we enjoy, it’s saying no to things that don’t serve us. Is that thing you’re doing self-care or self-sabotage? Are you not responding to messages because you’re holding a boundary or are you not responding because you are withdrawing and isolating? Just like every other skill  we have to learn, it takes practice and constant work.”

While self-love sometimes is doing things like taking a bath, seeing friends, cooking a healthy meal—it also is about doing those hard things, like cutting out toxic people from your life, saying no to a commitment because you do not have the capacity to fulfill it, or following through on something challenging, even if you are nervous to try. It is about finding a balance between pushing yourself and trusting your own limits. That what is tricky. Sometimes self-love is saying no. Other times self-love is saying yes, even though you want to say no. It takes practice and intention to figure out what your true needs are and what your capacity is.

A list of examples of what self love might look like

Graphic showing elements of self-love

Other articles to explore:
A Seven-Step Prescription for Self-Love
Self-Love is Tough, But Not Impossible
Why Self-Love is Important and How to Cultivate It

What's your self-love language? With lists of various examples. 

Check back in March for our next Teen Talk! 

Join me every Thursday at 4 p.m. for our weekly Teen Hang at Aurora Central Library (14949 E. Alameda Pkwy.). I'd love to meet you and hear about what topics you’d like featured. 
- Taylor is cursive

Posted by [email protected] On 08 February, 2022 at 12:36 PM  

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