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Last week, I took a quiz to find out my love language; my results were a combination of words of affirmation and acts of service. I found it interesting to explore the ways in which we prefer to give and receive love in our relationships. Since then, I’ve noticed others looking into these languages as well —Tik Tok, Twitter, and even Pinterest are specific places I’ve seen a piqued interest in this topic. 


This got me thinking about how much effort we put into getting and giving love to others, but not to ourselves. I never took the time to consider what my self-love language could be, and why I tend to let that care fall through the cracks at times. Self-care and self-love are imperative to our mental health, and figuring out the most effective ways to communicate love to ourselves can be just as important as understanding our love for others.


If you’ve been feeling like your mental health and self-care may be lacking, take a look at the five languages of self-love to see how you can give back to yourself in the ways that register best with your mind. 


  1. Words of Affirmation

Love yourself written on wall
Photo by Nicole De Khors from Burst/Shopify

Taking the time to reaffirm what makes you amazing can be an effective way to give yourself the self-love you need. This can include:


  • Complimenting yourself

  • Standing up for yourself

  • Making a list of gratitudes

  • Placing positive sticky notes on your mirror or around your room

  • Speaking highly of yourself in private or with others

  • Making a vision board

  • Watching an inspiring video

  • Reading a self-help book


Words can be so powerful, and if creating or reading affirming words resonates with you, this could be your self-love language. Seeing or hearing uplifting content is a great way to give yourself love, especially if you are able to deeply feel the power behind outward expressions of the mind. 


Your words can have such a positive impact on your mental health and self-image, because the way you talk about yourself and your accomplishments or failures will inevitably affect the way you view your worth. 


  1. Quality Time

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

Alone time can be more than binge-watching shows and scrolling through social media. Sometimes, sitting down to truly spend time with yourself may cause you to realize just how much you enjoy your own company. Quality time can be:


  • Reading

  • Exercising

  • Meditating/doing yoga

  • Journaling

  • Taking a bath

  • Doing a skin-care routine

  • Spending time outside

  • Drawing or adult coloring


This could be your self-love language if you enjoy time alone, and it’s a great way to reflect on how important taking care of yourself can be. Sometimes, we may feel burnt out from constantly giving to others; while that’s a great trait to have, you might not realize the toll that consistently helping others while neglecting your own needs can have on you. 


Being alone can be scary and isolating for some, but taking that time to truly get to know yourself is often eye-opening. 


  1. Acts of Service 

election ballot with red and blue masks
Photo by Tiffany Tertipes from Unsplash

You are capable of so much more than you realize, and this includes helping yourself out when you need it. It’s easy to feel helpless and out of control when things aren’t going your way, but there are a multitude of services we can do for ourselves to take some of the power back. This can look like:


  • Meal prepping

  • Taking yourself out for dinner

  • Volunteering

  • Getting your hair/nails done

  • Cooking yourself a meal

  • Buying yourself something nice

  • Getting a car wash

  • Cleaning your space


This could be your self-love language if you tend to feel anxious when things are out of your control. When you feel powerless in a situation, focus on the things you can control. If you allow those unmanageable aspects of life to affect the things you do have the power to change, your mind will continue on this unhealthy pattern of helplessness. 


You are so powerful, and you have the ability to change your mindset by serving yourself in ways you deserve. Do nice things for others, but don’t forget to do nice things for yourself just the same. 


  1. Receiving Gifts

pink christmas gift
Photo by Ekaterina Shevchenko from Unsplash

Gifts might be something you buy for yourself or just some way you’re able to treat yourself. The gift of time, energy, and appreciation can be just as impactful as a physical object. You do not have to wait for someone else to give you a shiny, wrapped present just to feel gifted and appreciated. Gifts can be anything such as:


  • Enrolling in a class

  • Trying a new hobby

  • Buying candles or essential oils

  • Trying a new perfume

  • Taking yourself on a trip

  • Buying a plant

  • Learning a new skill

  • Taking a day off


If you love getting little surprises, you may register with this type of self-love language. Surprise yourself by trying something new or treating yourself to something you typically would not “allow.” We should not be restricted from anything in this life, and investing in yourself — no matter how large or how small you are able to — is certainly a gift!


  1. Physical Touch

Breakingpic on Pexels

We often think of a loving touch coming from someone else, but who’s to stop us from physically comforting ourselves? We can enjoy our own warmth in ways like:


  • Stretching

  • Self-pleasure/masturbation

  • Giving yourself/getting a massage

  • Admiring your body

  • Clapping for yourself or patting yourself on the back

  • Moisturizing your body 

  • Writing down things that make you feel good


If touch is something that allows you to show appreciation, this could be your self-love language. Spending intimate time with yourself can remind you that you are physically valid and deserve to feel pleasure. Your mental health can begin to suffer if you feel that you are deprived of affection, and you are much more capable of giving this to yourself than you may realize. 


What’s Your Self-Love Language?


While all of these aspects of self-love can be necessary and effective, one or more of these may resonate with you. Which do you think would be most beneficial? Try out a few of these self-care acts, and take note of how you feel. Remember how deserving you are of love in every aspect of life, and keep your worth in mind when deciding to give back to yourself. 


Self-love can be such an important piece of your mental health, but remember it’s a marathon, not a sprint. Keep learning about yourself everyday, and you will begin to understand how best to show yourself care and love.

Class of 2022
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