Loving Yourself with the Five Love Languages

I think it’s safe to say all humans want to experience love (whether you want to admit it or not) and the holidays can make you crave it even more. Hallmark movie promotions, couples’ wearing matching pajamas and Christmas songs on the radio - love is definitely in the air! However, for a lot of us… it’s not really. This year has been different than previous years as we are unable to visit many friends or family - let alone meet any new people!

Love languages are essentially the different ways that people express their love for others as highlighted in a book called The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman. The different love languages include words of affirmation, physical touch, quality time, gift-giving and acts of service. I haven’t read the book personally, but from my understanding, you can express love and wish to receive love in different ways. When scrolling on TikTok one day, I watched something about applying different love languages to yourself, which was something I had never heard of before. I’m going to outline a few ways that you can use the different love languages to show yourself some love.

1.Words of Affirmation

It might sound silly but saying words of affirmation to yourself can actually give you a similar rate of satisfaction that you get from others when they compliment you! You can practice this by saying positive things to yourself out loud or write them down. Saying positive affirmations can range from “I look good today” to “I am strong, and I am proud of myself for getting this far.” I feel that a mixture of physical and emotional compliments is the best way to go as you can cover all aspects. Something I started to do recently after having a busy week is writing down the tasks that I have accomplished and saying that I am proud of myself for completing these tasks. Another aspect of words of affirmation is enforcing positive self-talk. Limit the negative words that you say about yourself and you will notice a difference over time (especially during exam season when we are extra tempted by stress to say that we are going to fail our classes or that we’re stupid).

2. Physical Touch

This one seems like you need someone else for it, but you can actually mimic touch through various aspects. For instance, sitting in a cozy blanket or hoodie, giving yourself a massage or taking a hot shower are all things that are substitutes for physical touch! Moreover, putting your hand on your chest and breathing when you feel stressed out or need a minute to recuperate can help you feel more grounded.

3. Quality Time

Spending quality time with yourself can be anything that you want it to be. Whether it’s listening to music, watching a show or doing an activity that you enjoy, allow yourself time to do fun things by yourself that doesn’t include doing schoolwork or going to work. This can also include making sure that you don’t overbook yourself or say yes to tasks that you mentally cannot handle.

4. Gift- giving

Gift-giving sometimes gets a bad rep as people assume that it is a materialistic way to want or express love. However, I disagree! Gift-giving is less about the expense of the gift and more about the idea there is an item that you can make someone feel appreciated through. You can practice gift-giving with yourself by getting yourself something that you have wanted for a while, or even just getting yourself a coffee one day when you weren’t initially planning on it.

5. Acts of service

Acts of service for yourself includes making sure that your basic necessities are met. Make yourself a nice meal or organize your room in a way that makes you feel comfortable and happy. This could also include making sure that you are getting enough sleep or exercise or running an errand that will make your life easier. Oftentimes, we associate things like paying rent, getting groceries and doing laundry as tasks that we have to do. Shifting your mindset to start thinking about how these actions benefit your life can help make you feel more grateful and loved in the process.

Overall, using love languages with yourself is a great way to amplify the self-love and appreciation that you give yourself. Take care of yourself this winter break and take time to relax and unwind because you deserve it!