You may have heard about love languages before. They are five different ways of expressing and receiving love; words of affirmation, quality time, acts of service, receiving gifts, and physical touch.
The concept of love languages was developed by Gary Chapman, Ph.D., in his book The 5 Love Languages: The Secret To Love That Lasts, which he created from his experience in marriage counselling and linguistics.
The five love languages represent the ways in which you prefer to give and receive love. Everyone has a unique set of languages and often, they are different to those around you - meaning the way we communicate love may often not be felt in the way we'd intended, and can be the source of misunderstanding in relationships.
The more clear we get on what our love language is and the ones we love, the stronger our relationships become.
But, have you ever thought about your self-love language?
While the concept of the five love languages is used mostly in the relationships we have with others, we can also apply it to our most important relationship; the one we have with ourselves. Whether it be acts of service, receiving gifts, quality time, physical touch or words of affirmation, the way you show yourself love is a very individual thing too.
When you start to examine your self-love languages and compare them to the love languages you use when relating to others, you might start to see some similarities or perhaps they are all entirely different. But once you do realise what yours is, it can make caring for yourself even easier.
If your self-love language is acts of service, then a night of self-care might look like tidying your space, planning for the week ahead and booking in to see your therapist. But if you like physical touch, you might spend the night on the couch in your track-pants, wrapped up in blankets, applying a face mask. Or giving yourself permission to book a massage.
There is so much information out there about what self-care should look like, but in reality, self-care is an individual thing. What works for you, may not work for someone else because we all have different languages of self-love.
Here's a few examples of what caring for yourself through self-love languages could look like:
Acts of service:
- Setting boundaries
- Organising your closet
- Booking yourself a facials or massage
- Ordering your favourite food
- Buying flowers for yourself
- Going on a shopping spree
- Spending time alone
- Sleeping in
- Going on a solo date
- Relaxing baths
- Comfortable clothes
- Skincare routine
- Yin yoga class
Words of affirmation:
- Daily gratitude count
- Positive self talk
- Daily affirmations
Using yourself, and three of your loved ones, reflect on each person’s love language (even list them in order of priority - often they're all important to us, but in different orders of priority). You might already know it, but if you don’t, reach out to them to ask. Note down the primary love language of each person and then brainstorm different ways that you could show them love in their love language. Now pick an item for each person, including yourself (especially yourself!) and go and spoil them with love.
Outward love language:
Act of self-love:
Act of love:
Act of love:
Act of love: