"The only journey is the one within" - Rainer Maria Rilke


Understanding Self-Love and Its Significance

Recently, I was surprised to learn how many people I knew were on anti-depressants. It wasn’t the medication itself that shocked me, but rather how widespread depression and diminished self-love are.

February is known for Valentine’s Day and love, but it’s also heart disease awareness month. The heart symbolizes love emotionally, energetically, and physically.

Self-love and self-care go beyond basic survival needs like food and shelter—they form the essence of self-esteem and self-respect.

Surprisingly, self-esteem is more closely related to body image than body size (Olchowska-Kotala, 2018) .

The Interconnectedness of Self-Worth, Depression, and Fatigue

Self-worth, self-love, depression, and fatigue are intertwined. Your emotional and mental state impacts your physical health, and vice versa . If you don’t value yourself, you’re less likely to take care of yourself, increasing your risk of health issues.

Do you struggle with self-care or self-esteem? Do you often give more support than you receive? Over time, this imbalance can lead to exhaustion. Combined with low feelings, this creates a breeding ground for depression and other health issues.

Healthcare professionals often experience this, leading to a high rate of suicide due to compassion fatigue or caregiver fatigue—a combination of depression and fatigue from extreme caregiving.

The Positive Impact of Self-Care on Health

Better self-care improves self-esteem and enhances physical, mental, and spiritual health. Self-love fosters better relationships and overall well-being. It's not selfish; it’s necessary.

Conversely, narcissism negatively impacts relationships and health (Campbell et al., 2002) .

Overcoming Barriers to Self-Care

Despite knowing how to be healthier, many struggle with time constraints and burnout. Almost 50% of people in the US feel exhausted due to work, up from 39% a decade ago (Geraci, Men's Health, Nov 18) .

Strategies for Better Self-Care

For those seeking to improve their well-being, research suggests several strategies:

1. Prioritize Sleep: Essential for overall health.
2. Yoga and Breathwork: Effective in reducing depression and anxiety (Ramanathan et al., 2017) .
3. Resistance/Weight Training: Boosts self-esteem and physical health.
4. Healthy Diet: Crucial for mental and physical health.

Conversely, certain factors are detrimental to self-love and self-care:

- High workload and job stress
- Sedentary lifestyle
- Excessive social media use

Practical Tips for Self-Care

-Move More: Regular exercise significantly improves self-esteem and reduces depression and anxiety (Al-Qahtani et al., 2018) .
- Positive Self-Talk: Affirmations can effectively enhance self-perception (Zhu and Yzer, 2021) .
- Prioritize Yourself: Incorporate self-care into your daily routine. Whether through journaling, meditation, or a simple walk, make time for yourself.

At the end of the day, you need care and attention. Just as you invest in your family, friends, and work, invest in yourself.

Let’s make a promise to start today with small gestures of self-care. Don’t wait for the right time—it doesn’t exist. Edit your life frequently, especially on social media, to maintain a positive influence on your health. Move more, breathe deeply, and take time for yourself.

I hope you indulge in some quality self-care this month!


About Dr. Tanya Doman

Dr. Tanya Doman (“T”) is a clinical doctor and health & fitness professional. She teaches dance, yoga, and is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist. Diagnosed with invasive breast cancer in 2020, she prioritizes evidence-based medicine and research, offering health consultations for those impacted by chronic health conditions. Connect with her on Instagram (@thefitchick) or visit [](
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