Do you love yourself?

Sarawak United People’s Party ( SUPP ) Women Central’s theme for this year’s International Women’s Day is “Love Yourself.” According to SUPP Central Women Sec t ion Chairman, Cr Kho Teck Wan, the “Love Yourself ” theme aims to remind women to take care of themselves and give priority to their own health.

“Without health, nothing else matters,” added Kho when speaking to the press in conjunction with the International Women’s Day which fel l on March 8. Kho explained that the International Women’s Day was a day to recognise women’s achievement s regardles s of their nationalities, ethnicities, economic or political backgrounds. She pointed out that from leaders of the country to scientists and multitasking super women at home,the fairer sex played important roles in every sector of the society.

“It is our nature to care for others but very often, women forget to take care of themselves,” she said before urging them to stay curious and to continue learning regardless of their age. Women, Kho cont inued, should not be intimidated by new technologies but learn to master them in their daily lives.

I feel Kho’s message is relevant to everyone, especially multitasking women at home. My best friend, who lives in Sibu, my hometown, constantly reminds me to love myself. She knows how much I have sacrificed for my family over the years and how I used to put them first.

That is why she encourages to return to Sibu alone regularly for well deserved vacations. I took a break from work and from home to join a Toastmasters Convention there not so long ago. Before the event, I managed to find time to spend time with her, savouring all the local delights that I missed while away and catching up with her generally.

My best friend forever, she also took me to a shopping complex and encouraged me to buy new clothes. “Please love yourself ”, she would say to me when I debated with myself whether I should buy a particular blouse that I loved. She also encouraged me to buy brighter clothes. “Why are you wearing dark coloured clothes? They do not suit you,” she added.

At the end of the shopping spree, I left with a thinner wallet but a happier heart. I gave myself a pat on the back because I decided to love myself more that day. It did not mean I loved my family less. Since that day, I have learnt to love myself more.

I happily reward myself by doing things I like after completing a difficult task, either at work or at home. If I feel I need a break, I just take a break. For this article, I did some research online on why it is important for us to love ourselves.

According to Mark D. White Ph.D, when you love yourself, you accept who you are.When you love your sel f , you al s o look better, you are more confident and you will avoid selfreproach.

Meanwhile, speaking on the same subject, Shivani Gupta, author of a book entitled “I Love Myself ”, says: “You cannot ask people to love you or your work if you do not love yourself. In fact, if you learn to love yourself, everyone else’s love is not as important. “There are four areas of focus that will give you the most benefit.

Learn to love yourself in your work and relationships. Learn to love your body as well as loving and nurturing your soul.” She adds that the whole of society benefits if women just start to put themselves first a little more. By doing so, women are not being anti-men, she stresses.

“When you love yourself, you start to break recurring negative patterns and start to be a hero, not a victim. The relationship you have with yourself is the most important relationship you will have in your life – important than the relationship you have with your children or any partner.

“Women, start to love yourselves. Men, help the women in your life to love themselves. The world will be a better place for all of us,” she advises in one of her columns published in The Herald online.

So my friends , s tar t loving your selves today i f you have not done so. Let’s start caring for ourselves more. If you are sick, see a doctor and don’t just buy pills over the counter.

Don’t be like my late Aunt who died recently. She loved her family very much and worked herself to death at home, doing mos t of the household chores like washing and cooking, and forgot to rest and love herself more. One evening, she decided to rest for a while while suffering from a chest pain. She never woke up from her sleep. We buried her last Saturday.