Which is more meaningful to you: when your significant other gives you a hug or when you get to spend alone time with them? Would you rather receive a sentimental gift or a love letter? These are some of the questions asked on the 5 Love Languages quiz, which is designed to reveal how you express and experience love in intimate relationships. The 5 love languages: quality time, words of affirmation, acts of service, gift giving and physical touch, are different for everyone and knowing yours can help you gain a deeper understanding of how you perceive love.
But why limit this knowledge to romantic relationships? One of the most important expressions of love we have is the practice of loving ourselves. Self-love and self-care are buzzwords in today’s day and age, especially during a global pandemic, but it’s not often that we talk about how to truly love yourself. Are self-care practices such as mindfulness or mental health days enough? Taking care of yourself in your love language is key in taking your self-care to the next level.
If quality time is your main love language, it’s time to start spending more time with yourself. Scheduling downtime is crucial, especially if you have a busy schedule. Maybe Sunday is your mental rest day, when you disconnect from work and responsibilities and truly relax. Or maybe you space out this alone time throughout the week by relaxing for an hour before bed each night. You could spend this time reading, writing, pampering yourself, watching a show – whatever makes you feel most at peace. Solitude is key when you show love through quality time!
If this is your main love language, you love giving and receiving gifts! This may seem shallow or materialistic, but it boils down to the fact that you appreciate it when someone puts thought and effort into a sentimental gift – and there’s no reason you can’t start doing this for yourself! Do some online shopping and buy a basic you’ve been putting off, whether it be that nice fancy coffee you’ve been eyeing or a new sweater. Better yet, buy yourself something that will be a self-investment, like a workout class, a new book or supplies for a craft you’ve wanted to start. Setting a little money aside for a treat every now and then is so worth it when gift giving is your main expression of love.
Words of affirmation
If you value words of affirmation the most, it could be helpful to start journaling. There are endless possibilities when journaling – you could use it as an outlet to ease your stress and anxiety, it could be a gratitude journal used to remind you of all the positives in your life or you could write down positive self-affirmations to boost your confidence! Another way to love yourself with words of affirmation is by reciting positive daily affirmations every day. Try an app, like one of these, to remind yourself how amazing you are!
Acts of service
Acts of service is one of the trickier love languages to practice on yourself, but it can be done! If this is your main love language, it means you appreciate it when people do things for you that make your life easier, so the best way to practice self-care is to do things that will benefit your future self. For instance, start your day by making your bed, so that later in the night you have a clean and comfortable space when you’re winding down for bed. You could also clean up your space daily, as a clean environment can put you in a better headspace. Maybe cooking is a source of your stress, so you meal prep on weekends to make weekdays go smoother. It doesn’t have to just be chores, either! You could schedule yourself an activity to look forward to, like a massage or yoga.
How can you be physically affectionate with yourself, you may wonder? Pampering yourself with physical touch may be easier than you think! You could treat yourself to a spa day by taking a hot bath, doing a facial, painting your nails or whatever it takes to make yourself feel refreshed and rejuvenated! Another method of physical self-care could be making your environment as comfortable as possible – I’m talking fuzzy socks, soft blankets and a nice warm hoodie! It’s important to treat your body right, so you could also try to incorporate stretching or yoga into your daily routine. The better you feel physically, the better you’ll feel mentally!