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Gary Chapman’s five love languages are very useful when talking about romantic relationships, but what if we apply them to ourselves?
How does the concept of “self-love” change when applied to each individual’s unique needs?
Self-care is an important aspect of life, especially for those who struggle with mental health issues.
If we can identify our own personal love languages, then we can begin to address each of our own types of self-care needs.
We may need to spend less time focusing on others and more time taking care of ourselves.
What is the Love Language?
Love Language is a theory developed by psychologist Dr. Gary Chapman that identifies five ways that people feel and express love.
According to Dr. Chapman, these five ways are words of affirmation, quality time, receiving gifts, acts of service, and physical touch.
The idea behind this theory is that each person has their own unique way of expressing and receiving love, so you have to be careful about how you show your partner that you care.
For example, one person might feel loved when you spend time with them, while another person might feel loved if you give them a gift or help them out around the house.
What is a Self-love Language?
Just like how the Love Language will suggest how you give love to your partner, a self-love language is how you give yourself love.
And using the principles behind the Love Language, you can figure out which kind of activities are the best ways for you to do just that.
So first, go ahead and take the Love Language Test to determine your type, and come back to this page to read the activities best suited for you to practice self-love and care.
How do Love Languages Apply to Self Care?
Our love languages have a lot to do with how we show love to others, but they also have a lot to do with how we show love to ourselves.
It turns out that the way you give yourself care is very similar to the way you give other people care.
In fact, it may even be more important than the way you give other people care.
Why? Because no one else can do it for you—you have to do it for yourself!
Once you figure out which love language speaks most strongly to you, then you can use it as a guide on how best to care for yourself.
What is Your Self-love Language?
What was the result of your test? Did it surprise you or gave you new insights about yourself?
I think it’s quite eye-opening and my results were certainly not how I thought I was.
However, with this new information in mind, I was able to improve greatly on how I can spend my time doing the right things for myself.
In the next few sections, you can learn a little more about each Self Love Language and a list of self care activities you can engage in.
People in this group generally love receiving and giving gifts.
This can be material or non-material — it doesn’t matter.
It could be something small like a bouquet of flowers or something more personal like a framed photograph.
Gifts are a way to show love and appreciation, but they also communicate that you care about the person and their interests.
They can also be used to express gratitude for an occasion such as birthday parties or anniversaries.
What kind of gift would you give yourself? Here are a few suggestions:
- A self-care kit such as TheraBox
- A premade bullet journal and pen/pencil
- Aromatherapy candle or incense
- Yoga mat
- Massage oil
- A spa day at your favorite merchant
- A manicure or pedicure
- A fresh haircut that makes you feel like a new person
- A facial or eye treatment
- A day at home where you disconnect from technology, eat healthy food and relax with a good book or movie
- A new dress or piece of jewelry
- A pampering night in with your favorite bath products and a book
- A new pair of shoes that make you feel like you can take on the world
- Your favorite lingerie set, even if it’s just wearing it around the house with no one else there
- A sexy new outfit to wear out on a date night or for yourself at home
- A hot bath with rose petals and candles
- A weighted blanket to sleep better
- A new kitchen gadget
- A short trip away with your besties or partner
- Join a class to learn something you have always been interested in
Acts of Service
An act of service is anything done to benefit another person that demonstrates love or appreciation.
For example, your boyfriend might help you move furniture, or your spouse might cook you dinner.
All these positive actions are meant to make you feel loved, appreciated, and cared for.
So how can you apply these ideas to yourself then?
Here are a few suggestions for you:
- Take loving care to groom yourself
- Cook yourself some nutritious food
- Establish a weekly or monthly decluttering schedule
- Make your living environment orderly, spotless, and aesthetically pleasant
- Think about starting a side hustle for extra cash
- Meal planning for the coming week
- Defining limits and boundaries
- Streamline your daily to-do lists down to 1 or 2 highest priority matters
- Tidying up your residence and decluttering, such as clearing and arranging your wardrobe
- Attending treatment (both physical or mental) if necessary
- Participate in voluntary work as helping others often ends up helping you
- Set both immediate and long-term objectives for yourself
- Set some monthly or annual goals, and then schedule a time to periodically review them
- Try to meet deadlines for assignments
- Taking courses for professional or self-growth
- Prioritize your domestic duties before they pile up
- Donate to a cause you believe in
- Establishing a financial budget, including making all necessary bill payments on time
- Do something that your future self will thank you for
- Create reminders for various healthy behaviors, such as regular movement or drinking water every hour (use this self care tracker)
Words of Affirmation
For some people, words are the most powerful form of affection.
If this is true for you, then try writing yourself a letter that includes all the ways you strive each day to be your best self.
When you’re feeling down on yourself, it can feel like all the world is against you.
You start to believe that no one could possibly love you—and so why should you love yourself? But that is the wrong mindset!
Start speaking words of affirmation to yourself, and tell yourself that what you want matters and that your opinion is valid.
You’re telling yourself that even though others may be speaking negatively about you, their opinions don’t matter—because YOU matter!
- Write yourself a love letter
- Set clear goals for your future
- Keep your inner critic at bay
- Make a list of your strengths and successes
- Tell yourself you love you
- Place notes you’ve written for yourself throughout your space
- Create phone reminders that include positive statements or self-care check-ins
- Create an “affirmations note” on a piece of paper or on your phone, and read if often
- Try a mantra or a meditation on self-love
- Keep a thankfulness diary or jar
- Focus on and practice self-talk
- Use manifestation techniques
- Recite daily positive affirmations
- Celebrate the accomplishments in your life
- Put together a vision board
- Journaling for self-love or self-discovery)
- Give yourself lots of praise
- Read self-improvement books
Quality time is about being together, not about what you do.
It’s about quality conversation, quality listening, and quality giving of your full attention.
What matters most is about being truly present, not just physically but mentally as well, giving your full attention to the other person, and making them feel important.
It’s about connecting with each other, not about checking off items on your to-do lists, enjoying each other’s company, and sharing the things that make you laugh.
- Read more often, both fiction and non-fiction
- Begin a mindfulness practice, like meditation
- Play the video game of your choice.
- Watch the sunrise or sunset
- Spend time trying out new hobbies
- Rewatch your favorite film
- Spend time outside
- Put alone time first when you need it
- Go for a road trip
- Make a coffee or supper date for yourself.
- Reading a fresh, heartwarming novel while curled up in bed
- Listen to an enlightening or educational podcast
- Create your “ideal day” and strive to live it every month
- Improve the quality of your sleep
- Take a long stroll or walk
- Visit a cafe
- Go check out natural areas
- Finish a TV show by yourself
- Positive self-talk in a journal
- Get up early and spend some time by yourself before your day begins
- Tell yourself what you need to hear in an honest manner
- Get professional help if necessary
Physical touch is a powerful form of communication.
When you are loved and feel loved, there’s nothing else like it—except maybe the love that comes from the people who have been with you for years.
It can be as simple as holding hands or as meaningful as a hug, but if this person feels most loved when they’re touched by someone else on a regular basis, then it’s likely their primary Love Language.
It’s also worth noting that physical contact doesn’t necessarily have to mean only romantic or sexual touch; it could also refer to platonic feelings of affection, comfort, and intimacy (or even respect) between friends or family members.
- Enjoy yourself at the spa
- Get a manicure/pedicure
- Learn how to dance
- Give your scalp a massage
- Get a massage
- Make sure you drink plenty of water
- Cook or go out for a nutritious meal
- Experiment with a new look with your make up
- Use body oils to moisturize your skin after a shower
- Exfoliate your skin once a week
- Invest in comfortable clothes
- Workout at home or the gym
- Take a bath with bath salts
- Create a ritual out of your skincare routine
- Stretch with a foam roller
- Start practicing yoga
- Take regular naps
- Get yourself a new set of high-quality bedsheets
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What are Self-love Techniques?
Self-love techniques are tools that you can use for self-care. They’re not always easy, but they work! There are lots of different ways to do self-love techniques. Some people like to write in a journal; some people like to paint or draw; some people like to go for a run and so on. The list goes on and on! Once you know what makes YOU feel good, then all you have to do is make sure that it happens as regularly as possible.
What are the Signs of Self-love?
Self-love can look different for everyone, but here are some ways that self-love shows up in action:
Taking time to do something fun or relaxing every day
Getting enough sleep each night
Making time for people who make you feel good about yourself
Putting yourself first, even when that means saying no to people who aren’t treating you with respect or care
Doing things that make YOU happy (not what someone else wants from you)
How do You Know if You Lack Self-love?
If you’re not sure if you lack self-love, it’s time to start paying attention to your inner voice. When we don’t love ourselves, we often end up feeling like we’re not good enough for the things we want. We might feel like we don’t deserve success, happiness, or love. The reason for this is that when you don’t love yourself, you start to believe that there’s something wrong with you—that you’re unworthy of love and success.
Is Self-love Enough?
Self-love is not enough. It is a great start, but it’s only the beginning. It’s the foundation for everything else that comes after it. If you want to build a beautiful, healthy life for yourself, you need to love yourself enough that you’re willing to do the work of building it. And this is where the real work begins: when you finally start living your life with intention and purpose, instead of just existing in it. When you start making choices that align with what’s important to you, instead of just going along with what everyone else seems to think is right. When you stop settling for less than what makes you feel content and satisfied.
In Conclusion: Self Love Language
There are many different ways to practice self care, and once you start looking, you will begin to see it everywhere.
I hope that the examples of how self-love language can be used in your self-care practice will inspire you to take a deeper dive into the science of feeling good.
I encourage you to learn as much as the more you know, the better you can be in your everyday life.