A woman creates a barrier of light against tendrils of darkness while holding a small version of herself. Self love.

7 Self-Love Principles Every Lupus Warrior Must Practice

Navigating life with lupus is like hiking without a guide – you could be experiencing a smooth road physically, but a few steps away are steep hills of mental, social, and emotional challenges you didn’t see coming.

In the almost 15 years of living with lupus – from diagnosis to now living life as a kidney transplant patient – practicing these self-love principles has helped me to keep going.

Lupus self love tips

1. Grant yourself permission to grieve

Dealing with lupus can be emotionally challenging. It's normal and okay to feel sad, frustrated, or even angry about how it has affected your life. Giving yourself permission to grieve is a crucial step in self-love. Acknowledge your emotions, process them, and understand that it's a natural part of the healing process. Journaling, therapy and talking to friends and family I can be vulnerable with have been my go-to ways in processing grief.

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2. Your feelings are valid

This took me a while to get, but once I did a lot of needless stress went away. In the face of lupus, it's important not to rely on others to validate your experiences or feelings. I had to remember that my feelings and experiences are real, and I have the right to feel the way I do – no matter if someone else didn’t understand or believe me. We must embrace the validity of our emotions, so our mental and emotional health doesn’t yo-yo based on other people’s opinions.

3. Embrace your own company

There have been several times that I’ve been hospitalized, quarantined and just plain sick that left me unable to socialize how I wanted. It can be a lonely experience, which is why it is important to find joy in your own company. Learn to be content with yourself by exploring activities that bring you happiness. Whether it's reading, writing, or pursuing a hobby, finding pockets of joy by yourself is a great principle to embrace.

4. Grow in giving yourself grace

Living with lupus means facing uncertainties and challenges. Growing in giving yourself grace and self-compassion involves understanding that you're doing the best you can. Be kind to yourself during difficult times, acknowledging that you're navigating a hard and unique journey.

5. Accepting help is a sign of strength

Whew, I wish I could back and accept all the help that was offered me! Independence is admirable, but knowing how to receive help is a superpower. Whether it's practical assistance or emotional support, accepting help from others is an important aspect of self-love. It helps you build trust in relationships and help you realize you don’t have to do life alone.

6. You deserve to live

Lupus makes life challenging, and it can get dark, but please fight to live life the best you can. You deserve to be here. Remind yourself that you deserve happiness and you are worthy of love and fulfillment is so important. You are not a burden. Please reach out to trusted friends, a therapist or a hotline where you have a safe space to vent and process.

7. Always find your way back to hope

Hope is what pushed me forward when I didn’t want to, through countless hospitalizations, diagnoses, dialysis, you name it. In the face of lupus's uncertainties, maintaining hope is essential. No matter how tough the journey gets, always find your way back to hope. It could be through small victories, positive moments, or simply believing that tomorrow will be better.

In our journey as lupus warriors, it is critical to learn to embrace all the joy, victories, happiness that come from others, but more importantly ourselves. These self-love tips can guide you on your path to self-love and resilience in the face of lupus.

How do you practice self-love?

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This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The Lupus.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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