Have you ever heard of the phrase “love language”? Do you know what it means and what yours might be?
A term coined by relationship therapist Dr. Gary Chapman in his book “The Five Love Languages: How to Express Heartfelt Commitment to Your Mate,” love languages refer to all the different ways we express and receive love from one another, and your primary love language would be the one you value the most. And though love languages are often used to help us form, strengthen, and maintain our romantic relationships, it’s also important that we understand how to love ourselves the right way as well.
With that said, here are the five different self-love languages and how you can incorporate each one into your personal self-care routine:
1. Words of Affirmation
If words of affirmation is your primary love language, that means you appreciate all the kind words other people say about you and have a strong need for external validation. Now, that’s not necessarily a bad thing! It just means that you like it a lot when people tell you they love and that they’re proud of you, and hey, there’s nothing wrong with that! But you can love yourself better by giving yourself the kind of affirmation you seek from others. So write yourself love letters; list down all the things you like about yourself; read some uplifting quotes; and look in the mirror and tell yourself positive mantras like “I love myself, I accept myself, and I am worthy of good things in my life.”
2. Quality Time
Next, we have quality time. And if this is your self-love language, then it will do you a lot of good to set aside a few hours or minutes every day to be by yourself and do something you enjoy. Go to the multiplex and watch a movie by yourself; hang out in a cafe and read a good book; go for a run or ride a bike around the city; take yourself out and eat good food from a restaurant you like. Whatever it is you do, just make sure it’s something you find enjoyable and relaxing. And don’t forget to disconnect for a while by turning your phone off so you can really concentrate on just spending some quality time with yourself for a change.
3. Receiving Gifts
If receiving gifts is your love language, then that means you value the time and effort someone put into getting you the perfect gift, not necessarily the gift itself. You think giving gifts is a kind and thoughtful gesture, and you’re always happy to receive even the simplest of tokens and symbols. So why not do the same for yourself? Treat yourself to something nice and don’t feel guilty about it afterwards! By giving yourself gifts, you are reminding yourself that you deserve happiness in your life and that you are someone worth celebrating. And it doesn’t even have to be anything expensive, either! It can be something as simple as a yummy treat, a few fresh flowers, or even a personally curated playlist, and you’ll feel good about yourself all the same.
4. Acts of Service
Because acts of services is your love language, you think that the best way to let someone know you love them is through your actions, more so than your words. When someone does you a favor and offers you help without being asked, that’s when you’ll realize that they really love you. And you can show yourself that same kind of love by doing things that help ease your load and make things easier for you. A few examples would be: using a laundry service, ordering take-out, buying coffee instead of making it, and going to the spa.
5. Physical Touch
Last but certainly not the least is physical touch. And though people with this love language certainly enjoy a lot of hugs and other forms of physical affection, the good news is you don’t actually need anyone else to love yourself better even if this is your self-love language. Doing things like meditating, practicing yoga, snuggling with your pet, sleeping with a weighted blanket, getting a message, or taking a nice, long, soothing bath.
So, which self-love language do you speak? And what are some ways you would like to incorporate it into your personal self-care routine? Though we all have different ways of showing and receiving love, we should remember to give as much love to ourselves as we do with others. And a big part of that is understanding our own love language. It goes without saying that while forming strong, meaningful relationships with others is certainly important, having a good relationship with ourselves and practicing self-care works wonders for our mental health as well.