If you’ve been using the internet for like more than 10 minutes, I am guessing that you’ve probably already heard about the 5 love languages, even if you haven’t yet taken the quiz yourself. :P
The concept of “love languages” was popularized by Gary Chapman in his book The Five Love Languages: How to Express Heartfelt Commitment to Your Mate way back in the early 90s. It has since then spawned a chain of books and is deeply lodged in popular culture (#lovelanguage has more than 200,000 entries on Instagram).
It’s been used over the years in the context of interpersonal relationships, and mostly romantic relations at that. And it’s popularity is not a surprise. I mean, to have a specific tool that helps you know exactly how your partner would prefer to be treated and loved, of course, it’s not rocket science that people have lapped it up (myself included!).
But what happens if you take this concept of love languages a little further and think of it in terms of how best you can love and treat yourself? Would it not be amazing to have a little more insight into how you can love yourself better? Because at the core of it all, learning to love yourself, is a lifelong gift that you can give yourself, especially when life seems a bit harder than usual.
What are the Self Love Languages?
As formulated by Gary Chapman, the original five love languages are:
- Physical Touch
- Words of Affirmation
- Acts of Service
- Receiving Gifts
- Quality Time
The same five love languages can also be flipped around to talk about self love languages. I’ve detailed out what each of these mean in the context of self love. Read through to see what feels truest to you.
Just like any other personality test, knowing your self love language can be a useful tool for self discovery, and it can help you determine how to take care of yourself best.
If this is your self love language, then the best way you show love and care for yourself is by taking care of your physical body. You like using touch to feel safe and nourished, and you feel loved when you’re taking care of your health and wellness.
When you’re looking and feeling your best physically, you feel a positive energy course through almost every other aspect of your life.
HOW TO PRACTICE SELF LOVE THROUGH PHYSICAL TOUCH?
- Book a massage after work
- Sweat it out at the gym
- Refresh yourself with a home workout
- Make yourself something healthy
- Try out a new makeup look
- Splurge on high-quality bedsheets
- Create a ritual out of your skincare routine
- Indulge yourself to a manicure-pedicure appointment at your favorite salon
- Learn some face yoga moves
Words of Affirmation
Your words matter. Just like your tone, your choice of words will have a bearing in a conversation with someone else, so is the case even when you’re talking to yourself.
If this is your favored self-love language, get into the habit of saying sweet nothings to yourself. Encouraging words, and positive self-talk, that’s what you need to show yourself some love. Use your words to build yourself up. Become your biggest cheerleader.
HOW TO PRACTICE SELF LOVE THROUGH WORDS OF AFFIRMATION?
- Choose a password that does double duty as a positive message or call to action
- Write yourself a love letter
- Create an “affirmations note”, either on paper or on your phone, and read if often
- Maintain a gratitude journal
- Creating a vision board
- Silence your inner critic
- Make a list of things you’ve accomplished in your life
- Make a list of the things you’re good at, your best qualities
Quality time is about spending time with yourself in a way that enriches you and fills you up with love and positive energy. I have a feeling that introverts might be most attracted to this form of self love language. It’s certainly true for me. I would go so far as to say that spending quality time with myself is essential to my having healthy relationships with others.
Think of this as tuning in with yourself, with your current needs, and being truly present in the moment.
HOW TO PRACTICE SELF LOVE THROUGH QUALITY TIME?
- Take up a creative hobby
- Netflix and chill, girl!
- Take yourself out on a coffee or dinner date
- Cozy up in bed, reading a new heartwarming book
- Go for a drive by yourself
- Listen to an uplifting or informative podcast
- Create a vision of your “perfect day” and live it once every month, or every couple of months, depending on your schedule and other commitments
Acts of Service
You enjoy doing things that make life easier for you. Be it making your bed as soon as you wake up, or planning your week ahead on Sunday night, you like being prepared. You know that preparation is key to achieving long-term success and having things set up in advance gives you a sense of control and comfort.
This isn’t all about preparation and planning. Acts of service can also be reflected in showing yourself a little bit of kindness every once in a while. Like making that appointment with the therapist which you know will improve your mental health.
HOW TO PRACTICE SELF LOVE THROUGH ACTS OF SERVICE?
- Have a weekly or monthly declutter routine
- Get your finances or medical records in order
- Tackle household chores before they start to pile up
- Set up reminders for some healthy activities – like moving around for a bit every hour, or drinking water every 45 minutes or so
- Meal prep for the week ahead
- Set some monthly/yearly goals, and then take out time to review them periodically
- Do some volunteering work (helping others often ends up helping you)
- Make a list of one (or three) important thing(s) for the day
This is not necessarily about giving some big massive gift to yourself (though you could totally do that too!), but more about, indulging yourself every once in a while to something special. It’s the little things, the little moments that make our lives so much meaningful and enjoyable, and you totally deserve to treat yourself in all ways big and small. Celebrate yourself, and shower some love on yourself by treating yourself.
HOW TO PRACTICE SELF LOVE THROUGH RECEIVING GIFTS?
- Buy flowers for yourself
- Sign up for a class in something that interests you
- Buy something to make your daily routine better (like, if you love coffee, get yourself a great machine, or source some amazing coffee beans)
- Invest in your physical and mental health
- Buy yourself something meaningful when you reach a personally significant milestone
- Take an online class to develop a skill
- Plan and book a holiday to someplace new
Which of these self love language resonates the most with you? What are you drawn most towards? Also, let me know if you have any more ideas for practicing self love through the various languages.