When you think about the word, “stoic”, you probably think cold or emotionless. However, this notion is far from the reality. Stoicism is a philosophy dating all the way back to ancient Greece and Rome. The school of thought includes living in agreement with nature, accepting it’s natural course. Essentially, it is a philosophy that is used as a “tool in the pursuit of self-mastery”, according to the Daily Stoic. Stoicism emphasizes that you must understand your needs to fulfill whatever destiny you may have.
You may be thinking what this has to do with self love. This Valentine’s Day, I want to discuss some stoic tips on self love! Now, these tips might not be the self love tips we’re used to, but I find the Stoic perspective to be an interesting change from what we’re used to.
1. Put yourself first
It’s hard putting yourself first, especially when you’re swamped with assignments and daily activities. A moment’s rest, journaling, or doing something without extrinsic value helps you put your own needs first. I recently started journaling and those few minutes of silent reflection are something I really look forward to! Keep in mind that you aren’t being selfish by putting yourself first. The way you treat yourself is a reflection of how you treat others, so take care of yourself.
2. Accept that the only thing you can control is yourself and your thoughts
Marcus Aurelius once said “You have power over your mind – not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength.” Society can apply as much pressure as it wants to, but the only thing you can control is how you respond to that pressure.
3. Process your fears/anxiety
Recognizing that your anxiety has nothing to do with you is a difficult step, because you might feel like you’re tied to it. I felt like this for ages. I felt like dealing with my anxieties was something I had to do alone, which isn’t the case. When you feel a surge of anxiety, we end up falling down a slippery slope of ill fortunes and catastrophes (many of which aren’t even related!!). Talk to someone you trust, and that can offer you perspective on the matter.
In terms of relationships, the Stoics believed the only “true” relationship we have is with ourselves. This is the blueprint from which all other relationships are based on. So take it easy, be kind to yourself! You are worth all the love in the world. Have a great Valentine’s Day!
Daily Stoic (2019). What the Stoics thought about love. https://dailystoic.com/stoicism-love/
The views expressed in this blog are my own, and do not necessarily reflect the policies or views of the University of Victoria. I monitor posts and comments to ensure all content complies with the University of Victoria Guidelines on Blogging.