Self Love and Self Care
Author(s): Jessa Nootbar, Lillian Guo
Subject: Sex Education
Grade Levels: Middle school; 6-8
This lesson is mean to be integrated into the Sex Education curriculum. This lesson is not meant to replace anything in Positive Prevention Plus; rather, it is meant to supplement the curriculum. This lesson is meant to address issues of mental health through talking about the importance of engaging with self love and self care.
Time: 50 minutes
- Become familiar with the concepts of self love and self care
- Identify reasons why it is important to engage in active self love and self care
- Learn to work towards accepting and loving themselves
What does practicing self care and self love look like?
How can students make self care and self love a priority?
How can we support our friends in making self care and self love a priority?
CCSS 6.1 Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 6 topics and texts, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly.
CCW 6.4 Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
Self love: having regard for your own health, wellbeing, and happiness
Self care: the practice of taking an active role in protecting your own health, wellbeing, and happiness
Mental Health: a person’s condition with regard to their emotional and psychological wellbeing
Physical Health: a person’s condition with regard to their nutrition and physical wellness
Emotional Health: a person’s ability to manage and be aware of their thoughts, feelings, and emotions, and a person’s ability to cope with a wide range of emotions
Teacher Background: Teacher should be familiar with the concepts of Self Care and Self Love as well as how to practice them and apply them to Mental, Physical, and Emotional health.
- Writing utensils
- Self Care Plan worksheet
- Colored pencils/markers
- Introduction (15 minutes)
- Have students discuss in pairs then share out to the class what they think self love and self care are. Come up with a definition as a class for each term, and write down the definitions on the board.
- Have students list some ideas of self care activities (e.g. taking a walk, taking a shower or bath, talking to a friend or family member, creating art or creative writing, watching a movie) on post-its and put on a display at the front of the classes. (Encourage students to think of activities that are easy, free, and/or fast so they are accessible.)
- Main activity (20 minutes)
- Students will write down 3 things they like about themselves on a piece of paper (preferably non-physical traits; e.g. their work ethic, their passion for a certain subject or sport, their empathy)
- Students will turn to their “neighbor” and tell them something that they like about their neighbor (preferably non-physical traits)
- Students will write a “love letter to themselves” of what they want to tell themselves when they are feeling low, seal it in the envelope, and keep it somewhere private but accessible.
- Conclusion (15 minutes)
- Provide students with copies of the self care plan worksheet (see Materials). Encourage them to use ideas from post-it display, and to brainstorm more ideas of their own. Remind students that their self care plan should be designed for themselves and their own needs, so they should fill it out based on what they think will help their own health.
- Encourage students to use colored pencils/markers to color and decorate their self care plans so that they can hang it up and use it as a decoration.
Assessment Ideas: Students can keep a private self care journal in which they track how they respond to negative feelings and situations.
Harris, Aisha. “A History of Self-Care.” Slate Magazine, Slate, 5 Apr. 2017,
Marter, Joyce. “Self-Love Must Come First: How to Love Yourself.” The Huffington Post, The Huffington Post, 15 Feb. 2017,
Michael, Raphailia. “What Self-Care Is – and What It Isn’t.” Psych Central, Psych Central, 14 Aug. 2016, psychcentral.com/blog/what-self-care-is-and-what-it-isnt-2/.
Author(s) Information: Jessa Nootbaar is a Summer 2018 Education Curriculum Intern at Our Family Coalition in San Francisco, CA, and a Sociology student at Barnard College in New York, NY.
Lillian Guo is a summer 2018 Education intern at Our Family Coalition in San Francisco, CA, and an undergrad student studying Learning Sciences at Northwestern University in Evanston, IL.