Discover Your Self-Love Language
And Prioritize Your Own Needs
These days the phrase “love language” gets thrown around a lot and just now, by searching #lovelanguage on Instagram, 322,832 posts popped up.
So people are somewhat familiar with the concept - that there are specific and varied ways we express love - at least, familiar enough to joke that coffee, chocolate, puppies and tacos are their “love languages.”
For instance, I half-jokingly tell myself, that snacks are my love language (which in some cases just might be exactly that).
What’s a love language?
Dr. Gary Chapman originally published his book The Five Love Languages: How to Express Heartfelt Commitment to Your Mate in 1992.
The five love languages describe the way we feel loved and appreciated. Depending on our individual personality types, we may feel loved differently than how our partners do.
So why do love languages matter?
As with any language, love languages are a tool for communication, and you can use them more effectively when you understand how to interact with them.
I find it's helpful to have the tools to describe and express my experiences.
Like knowing my Myers-Briggs (INFP), my Enneagram (Type Two), and my zodiac sign (Cancer).
Now, like with anything in life, I take these tests with a grain of salt. But I have noticed that learning about how “experts” categorize me - it helps me understand how to talk about my needs, desires, and challenges.
It gives me more of a loose guideline and vocabulary than an actual rule book, script or blueprint.
Learning about love languages can help you understand what you need in order to feel appreciated and cherished. Familiarity with the love languages gives you the tools to ask for what you need - and the knowledge to shape your own behavior so that you can show your love and understand your loved ones’ preferred languages, too.
Your self-love love language might be the same as your regular love language, or it could be completely different. We might even show love differently to our own love language, there's a whole plethora of combinations and that's why knowing what you want and need, can help you and your loved one(s).
When we talk about self-love, it's important to know your own love language so that you can make the most out of your self-care practices.
To really feel the benefits of a self-care routine, you need to make sure you are communicating to yourself in the most effective way possible.
The aim is to enjoy and improve your relationship with yourself, so let’s make sure you are speaking your own language.
Not all self-care practices are a mani-pedi-facemask. Self-care can be booking a dentist appointment, using the better candles and china or prioritizing sleep.
Have a look at the examples below for each love language. Come up with some detailed and specific ideas of things you can do to spoil yourself in your own love language. This will really speak to your subconscious and increase your level of self-love.
If your self-love love language is physical touch, you feel at peace when you’ve done things to make your physical body feel better. If you book a massage after a stressful day or hit the gym when you’re worrying about something, you feel loved when you’re focusing on your external health and wellness.
Ideas: establish a skincare routine; moisturize your skin with lotions or oils, enjoy a hot shower or relaxing bath, stretch your muscles and give yourself a massage with a foam roller; try a new workout, make a healthy meal
Words of Affirmation
People who identify with words of affirmation are the people who love hearing compliments and knowing what they’re doing is right and effective in a relationship. The same goes with your relationship with yourself.
Encouraging yourself through words helps you feel appreciated and loved - and it's free. If journaling affirmations every morning keeps you going, this is probably for you.
Ideas: create a daily mantra; start with “I am”, “I can” and “I will”, write yourself a love letter, keep an affirmations folder on your computer, talk to a loved one, ask for feedback at work.
Acts of Service
If you’ve ever done something for yourself (such as making your bed in the morning for an easy night later, sending yourself that list you knew you’d need tomorrow, or meal prepping) and were grateful for your past self, this is likely your self-love love language.
This basically means that you enjoy setting things up and preparing things for yourself to make life easier later on. Another indicator that this is how you show love to yourself is doing small acts of kindness for yourself.
Ideas: schedule regular physical, dental and mental health check-ups., create an organized, clean and aesthetically pleasing home environment, groom yourself with love and care.
When you first read this, you might think, “Well, doesn’t everyone like to buy themselves gifts?” However, this goes a little beyond the simple idea of treat yo’ self.
These gifts don’t always have to be big purchases - you might feel revived and loved through life’s little indulgences. From a piece of chocolate when you’ve made it through 75 percent of your workday to traveling gifts for yourself, you like to reward yourself for a hard day’s work.
Ideas: gift yourself with an experience on your bucket list, new loungewear, finally use those sheet masks/candles/whatever you’ve been saving for a special occasion, purchasing an online course, buy a basic you’ve been putting off.
Quality time is about spending productive time with yourself. This doesn’t necessarily mean you need to be cleaning out your closet or checking off tasks on your to-do list.
Instead, focus this time on being present and getting to know more about yourself. Just as you would when spending time with a partner, pay attention to what sparks joy when you’re alone.
Ideas: meditation, deep breathing or progressive muscle relaxation, make time for leisure and hobbies, prioritize sleep and exercise, do not over-schedule, over-book or over-commit.
Self-love is a journey. It takes dedication, devotion, and practice.
Knowing your self-love language is so important if you want to improve your relationship with yourself. Your mind and your body pick up on your thoughts and how you treat yourself.
If you haven’t been kind to yourself in the past, it might feel strange to start prioritizing a self-love practice. But the more you introduce kind and loving acts to yourself, the more integrity and trust you will gain with yourself. And you are the most important person in your life; everything starts with you.
Self-love is about prioritizing your needs so that you can not only recharge, but fill yourself up so much that you have extra to spare. How can you look after others if you don’t look after yourself first?
This is the way you will teach others how to treat you, you lead by example.
I hope you find out what your self-love language is, and schedule some YOU time.