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  • Writer's pictureSixcia Devine


Updated: Oct 18, 2019

Ever find yourself knowing what to do but taking the easy way out anyway because it gives you an instant relief from stress? This temporary solution might seem blissful at that moment, but it’s usually followed by a long series of self-loathing. This happens because we happen to be our own toughest critics more than we are our biggest fans. With this constant criticism and insecurity, self-love can be difficult to find, or yet, cultivate within yourself. So how would you define self-love ?

Self-love isn’t narcissism. It is like loving anything else. It’s understanding why you do what you do, finding out what makes you happy, confronting questions about yourself that you often tend to put off, giving yourself a break sometimes, and taking action to make your life better. The definition might be different to different people, but the way to cultivate it circles around some universal thoughts and actions. Here are a few effective ones:

Volunteer to Give Back:

Random acts of kindness- Volunteers surprising children with gifts

Changing someone’s life, especially children, is the closest we will get to being immortal. Not only do you get to positively influence someone’s life but also get to leave your legacy behind on which a bright future can be built. Giving back to the community and volunteering can give you a sense of achievement that can make you feel good about yourself.

Practice Mindfulness:

“We practice mindfulness and meditate before starting the day, facing the beautiful Dominican mountains.”

Mindfulness is a total sense of awareness and focus on one particular object, place or activity at a given time. With millions of information hitting us from every corner in today’s world, it can be hard to focus on one particular task without worrying about the next. Taking the time to breathe, meditate and reflect on yourself can bring you back to your body’s original state of relaxing. In our trip to the Dominican Republic, we practice mindfulness and meditate before starting the day, to get in tune with our body and mind. This makes the entire day more energetic and positive.


“Soak up in your surroundings.”

Sometimes, no matter how exciting your job or plans might be everyday, it is easy to get stuck in an endless loop of living from task to task. Getting out of this loop and venturing out once in a while, can help you not only see the beautiful side of the world that you haven’t seen before, but may also help you find different and new ways of living. Soaking up in another culture is an excellent way to practice broadening your thoughts. This will in turn give you a sense of extra breathing space in your mind.

The Ultimate Question:

All this is probably information that you might have already come across. However, the difficult part of any process is answering that one simple yet taunting question: Where do I begin? Many of our volunteers found their beginning answering this question. Along with volunteering and traveling, one of our biggest goals is to learn how to love ourselves so we can share that love with the world. So why not start your journey of spreading love to the world, and most importantly, yourself, with Caritas Smile’s upcoming “Take a Trip, Change a Life” program in March?

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