In past blog post and podcast, I have discussed love languages in regards to romantic relationships. For those who are not familiar with the term 5 love languages, it was a concept developed by Gary Chapman in 1992. In his book “The Five Love Languages: The Secret to Love That Lasts” Chapman explores the different ways in which everyone prefers to receive love from other people. The 5 love languages are Acts of Service, Quality Time, Physical Touch, Gifts and Words of Affirmations.
Although Chapman focuses heavily on romantic relationships, I think it’s time to shift focus and discuss how we can apply the 5 love languages to ourselves. We shouldn’t have to wait to be in a relationship to discover this.
I encourage you to take the quiz here, so you will have a better idea of what your primary love language is. Once you discover this, you can begin to implement it into your life. Taking the time to reflect can also help you identify your love language, remembering when you felt most happy and fulfilled should help you to recognise patterns and understand what love language you lean most to.
It's important to note that although it's common to have one main love language, and one secondary, it's essential, you apply all 5 to yourself. Just because you have a preference doesn't mean the others should be dismissed, finding the right balance is key.
Below I have written a few ways in which you can incorporate self-love into your routine using love languages. These can hopefully be used to improve the relationships you have with yourself.
Acts of service is my dominant love language, we'll as far as romantic relationships is concerned. Remember that the way you like to receive love from others may differ from how you like to receive love from yourself. Discovering this is part of your journey.
When it comes to Acts of service it's important to ask yourself what makes you feel good and what makes your life that bit easier? The answer to this is what you should be doing.
Meal prep is a big one for me, taking time to cook meals I will enjoy in advance takes the pressure of having to cook daily away.
A lot of people reading this may be bloggers, scheduling post is a great act of service, ones you've scheduled, it's something less to worry about and it can be crossed off the to-do list.
Decluttering and cleaning is a vital act of service, if you've been putting it off for a while, now is the time to get it done. Imagine how good you will feel once you've completed this task.
When was the last time you had YOU time? A time when you really got to enjoy your own company and focus on just being present?
If you can’t answer that question, let’s make it a priority on the to-do list.
There are so many ways we can spend quality time with ourselves, such as:
Booking a solo dinner or brunch, I will be the first one to say, that the idea of that alone makes me feel awkward, I can only imagine what actually doing it feels like. However, I can tell you that it’s all in the mind. It’s not something we are used to, but ask yourself this, what greatness ever came from comfort zones?
Booking a solo trip, I’ve never personally been on a solo trip, however, I have a close friend who did. The confidence and growth it gives you is something I have seen first-hand. It’s definitely something I will do in the future post-COVID. Enjoying your own company and gathering your thoughts whilst in a hot country where you can learn about a new culture is a bonus.
The above are just suggestions, quality time doesn’t have to be complicated, it’s honestly about spending productive time with yourself. Other suggestions are to try mindfulness practices such as mediation, read a new book that will inspire or motivate you or just simply turning off your phone and having a day of doing nothing, just destress. It sounds small but will do you wonders on your journey.
It’s easy to assume without research that physical touch consists only of kissing or physical contact of a sexual nature, however, this is not the case. Skin to skin contact, cuddling and holding hands all come under this.
If physical touch is your primary love language it means you preference is physical expressions of love as opposed to verbal communications or gift-giving for example.
So how can we show ourselves love through this love language?
I am an advocate for being nice to your body, so massage is an obvious choice and one of my favourite things to treat myself to, hence why it’s made the top of my list. A massage not only relaxes you physically but also mentally. You can massage yourself or book yourself in for one.
A nice warm shower followed by moisturising is another way to be kind to our bodies. It may not seem like a big deal, but it really is.
Another option is to wear clothes that are comfy on your body, you want to not only look good but to feel good.
There are also other activities that focus on your physical beings, such as doing skincare routines, spa days or exercising!
The majority of us love to treat ourselves, to clothes, shoes and other material items. However, in this context it’s deeper than that, let’s explore meaningful ways we can gift ourselves.
An online course that can help us with career advancement. This will help us to learn something new whilst also enhancing our personal growth.
An activity that has been on your bucket list for some time, that way you accomplish one of your goals and get to cross it off the list.
Buy and invest in anything you love, get rid of anything that doesn’t help you to be in a positive space. A clear out of negative items or what no longer serves you is a must.
These are ways in which we can gift ourselves, a strong recommendation of mine is to gift yourself to mark milestones, such as reaching a target, getting a promotion, or hitting a weight loss goal. Who doesn’t love a great incentive?
Words of affirmation
Do you show yourself, love, with kind words?
How we speak to ourselves is super important, I’m sure you’ve all heard the famous ‘there is so much power in the tongue’ and this is completely true.
Yes, It’s amazing hearing from those we love, how well we are doing, or how proud they are of us. However, it’s equally important if not more to hear these words from ourselves.
There are different ways to practice words of affirmation on yourself. Start with journaling or saying your strengths out loud, this sounds easy but it isn’t. Many of us tend to find it easier to write our weaknesses down, so writing these positive traits and saying them out loud will do wonders.
If you struggle to write strengths, have a time of reflection where you list the compliments you have received from friends and family over the years. It’s often hard to see ourselves how others do, as we as individuals tend to focus on our flaws.
Create a tailored daily mantra, this can really change the course of your day. Start your day with this positive mantra, it may be hard to remember to do this daily, but eventually, it will become the norm.
Let’s begin speaking positivity over our lives!
I chose to do this post as I believe myself and many others tend to focus solely on love languages in relation to interpersonal relationships as opposed to the relationship we have with ourselves.
Loving yourself is not a quick fix, it’s a lifetime journey, there are several ways to practice self-love, this post simply highlights some of these ways.
I really hope you enjoyed reading this post, a task that can really help you with learning to use your own love languages is to Imagine how you would treat yourself on a daily basis as if you were another person, in a relationship with you. What would you expect? What would make you happy? Now you’ve answered those two questions, let’s do them for ourselves.
To read my post on Love Languages in regards to romantic relationships, click here.