How do you feel loved? Do you feel loved when someone gives you a hug, when they give you compliments or when they do groceries when they know you’re busy or tired?
These are all examples of different love languages. And while these examples all involve someone else, did you know you can also use your love language as your self love language?
A big part of learning how to love yourself is to learn about your needs. And then, in order to express self love, to fulfill those needs for yourself, by yourself.
You might have never really thought about your needs. You think of them as shelter. A bed, food on the table, clothes to put on, water and electricity. Those are your needs, right?
And yes, to a certain extent they are. They are the things you need to feel safe.
But have you thought about what you need to feel loved? Learning about your self love language is the fastest way to do just that.
So today I want to help you understand your regular love language as well as your self love language and learn how you can express it and use it to fulfill your own love needs, so you can feel loved and fulfilled all the time, even when you’re alone.
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What is a love language?
The love languages were introduced to us by Gary Chapman in his book ‘the 5 love languages‘. They’re a pretty recent concept, but truly life-changing. The quality of your relations has a massive impact on the quality of your life, so understanding how you give and receive love can change the game.
The thought is that there are 5 love languages. I’ll go deeper into them with examples, but for now they are:
- Acts of service
- Physical touch
- Words of affirmation
- Quality time
And without learning more about them, they are already pretty easy to understand. And I promise I’ll help you understand how care for yourself based on your love language, but bare with me through this relationship example to really understand how they work:
Imagine you have quality time as your number 1 love language, while your partner has gifts. He is a busy man, but he picks up little gifts on his way to express his love to you. However, because he’s so busy, you don’t get to spend a lot of time together. Do the gifts then make you feel loved? Sure, you appreciate them. But really loved? Probably not.
At the same time, you don’t give him gifts because that’s not how you express love. You try to get him to stay home for a night in and spend quality time together, because that’s how you show your love to him. But that just makes him annoyed, because he’s got things to do and places to be.
You see how this can implode pretty quickly.
Understanding your own love language can help you in your relationships with other people, as you are then able to say; Hey, I understand you express your love for me with gifts, and I really do appreciate them, but it would mean more to me to just spend some time with you.
And voila, your relationship is out of implosion territory.
What is a self love language
A self love language is essentially the same thing as your love language, but the difference is in how it’s used. While you use your love language to express and receive love with others, your self love language is reserved to receive and express love from yourself.
When you’re single, you have to make sure you still feel loved. So understanding how you express and receive love can help you give yourself the love you crave and need, as well as help you grow better relationships with your family and friends.
Take charge of your own needs, and take responsibility for your needs. There is no benefit in waiting for someone else to fulfill your needs and make you feel loved, and it will benefit you so much more if you can learn how to fulfill those needs by yourself.
Then, when you find a partner (if you want that), you are better able to understand what you need to feel loved in your new relationship, and you’re not dependent on them to make you feel loved.
How to know your self love language.
How to care for yourself based on your love language
Now that we’re all clear on what your love language is, it’s time to learn a little more about them so you can use them as a self love language, really understand it and implement some self love practices in your life. Remember that these are just suggestions, and you can use whichever ones speak to you, as well as add any practices that you know work for you.
Acts of service
Acts of service means that actions speak louder than words. If this is your love language, you much prefer people who actually do things, than people who say they’ll do things. That means that for yourself as well, there is much more love in doing things that need to be done, than in lying on the couch to watch netflix.
This may sound counterintuitive because doing things that need to be done for you to be happy, that sounds like any other person who simply needs to take care of themselves. And in a way, yes it is. But while this may seem to have more impact in a relationship, there are many ways you can use acts of service to express love to yourself.
Expressing acts of service to as a self love language can look like:
♥ Assigning one half day a week to do the things that need to get done. I use my saturday afternoon to go to the market, do some meal prep for the upcoming week, plan my next week and clean the house.
♥ Biting the bullet on that thing that you’ve needed to do for a while but kept procrastinating. Imagine the relief when you’ve done it, and how proud you will feel!
♥ Hiring someone to do some work for you. Whether it’s a cleaning lady, someone to do your laundry, a handyman to hang those paintings or getting your grocery delivered, if you can spare the money these are all good ways to express self love through acts of service.
If you express and receive love through physical touch, it means that your skin is the number one receiver of love. You feel love when you’re appropriately touched, and express love through touching someone else, for example by holding their hand or putting your arm around them.
To express self love with physical touch, consider all the things that go on your skin.
♥ You’ll love soft fabrics for your clothes and sheets. The difference between normal fabrics and extra soft ones is obvious to you and they’ll feel much better.
♥ Try giving yourself a massage. I love doing an oil massage before I get in the shower. Spend a bit of extra time rubbing the oil in, giving your body and your skin some attention, then let the oil soak in while you’re in a hot shower.
♥ Any type of beauty treatment is probably right up your alley. Get a massage, a manicure or pedicure, or even a facial treatment.
♥ Movement. Physical touch is all about being in your body, and what better way than to get a workout in? It doesn’t have to be vigorous, even a ying or hatha yoga session would feel extra good to you.
♥ On that note, dance. We don’t often consider it as a workout or movement, but it can do wonders for how we feel. Turn up your favorite song, let go of all inhibitions and move however you want to.
♥ Consider your temperature. Turning up the heating, adding a hot water bottle or heated blanket to your bed or installing a fan when it’s warm are a really good way to express physical touch, as it’s all about feeling good in your skin.
Words of affirmation
If you have words of affirmation as your self love language, you mostly express and receive love through words and verbal cues. Compliments are right up your alley, as well as being told that someone loves you, or how amazing you are.
Doing this for yourself may seem difficult, but it isn’t really. Try one of these things:
♥ Grab a block of post-its and write all the compliments you’d love to hear. Then stick them all over your house. On your mirror, the fridge, your bedside table so you can see it when you wake up.
♥ Print quotes and hang them on your walls or use one as your phone or computer background. Pick one that resonates with you. That makes you feel powerful, or makes you feel loved. My current phone background says; ‘make it happen girl, shock everyone’ and it gives me confidence and motivation every time I see it.
♥ Listen to affirmations on youtube or from audiobooks and say them to yourself. Extra points when you say your affirmations while looking yourself in the eye in the mirror.
♥ Poetry books can hit different for you, so dive into those. Browse instagram to see which poets and poems you like, discover new talents and see if you can buy a book from someone you really resonate with.
♥ Use the alarm function of your phone to send yourself little messages throughout the day. Just change the label of the alarm, and if you can, add your favorite song to it.
♥ Make a playlist of all the songs you absolutely love, or that make you feel amazing. The energy and words in music can make a massive difference to how you feel, so make use of that! Click here to go to my ‘love yourself’ playlist on spotify.
This one is very self explanatory: You express and receive love through gifts! You love when someone brings you something they’ve picked especially for you, or when they came across something they knew you’d love during their day.
So to give yourself the love language of gifts, consider how you can treat yourself to things. I would recommend setting a budget for this if you can, to make sure you can afford your love language. You can also ask for gift cards to your favorite stores for birthdays so you can spend them on your self love gifts throughout the year.
You could care for yourself through your gift self love language by:
♥ Subscribing to a gift box. That way, every month you truly get a surprising gift! Find a box that matches your interests, there are so many nowadays. Subscribe to it, and see what shows up to your doormat every month!
♥ Flowers. Who doesn’t love flowers? They really brighten up any space and can put you in such a good mood! If you don’t want to pay for fresh flowers every week or month, you could buy a beautiful bunch of fake flowers, or get a flower subscription!
♥ Go to the grocery store and buy something you really love but never buy for yourself. If you have multiple things, consider whether you want to get all of them at once, or spread them out so you can have a treat every week or month.
♥ Buy something that makes you really happy, and you will love. Or even something you’ve wanted for a long time but haven’t bought yet.
♥ An investment in yourself. This isn’t immediately obvious as there might not be a physical reward, but getting yourself a growth opportunity is even more rewarding in the long run!
When your self love language is quality time, it means you like to get attention. Now if you’re single, you may think “I’m spending a lot of time alone, this quality time thing is super simple!” but I have to disappoint you. There is a big difference between quality time with yourself, and spending time alone.
Quality time is about consciously making time for yourself, to spend time with yourself and do something that fills you up. To put away the phone, and the social media, disconnect your doorbell or put a ‘do not disturb’ sign on your door.
So as quality time is about spending time with yourself, doing things that fill your cup with love, make a list of what those things are and start planning them in! Here are some ideas:
♥ Going for a walk in nature
♥ Reading a book
♥ Watching your favorite show, complete with your favorite snack and drink
♥ Taking a bath
♥ Having a lie in
Basically, quality time is what we call ‘me time’. The time you decide what you want to do, and you simply do something you love. There are a million ways to fill this, depending on your own interests and preferences. So start making that list!
So those are the 5 love languages, and how to care for yourself based on your love language. Now the fun part is that when you’re more aware of and comfortable with your love language, you can see how you can combine them. For example taking a bath can be a quality time activity, but also a physical touch activity. Getting a massage can be physical touch, but also a gift. Buying yourself a poetry book can be a gift, but also a words of affirmation. And even quality time if you carve out special time to read it!
Learning about your love language might sound a bit intimidating, and when you think about implementing them, it might get even worse. But chances are, you’re already doing some of the things that fill your cup.
I think the key is to plan them in, just like you would with dates in a relationship with a partner, or movie night with your friends. When you plan them in you’ve made sure to carve out time or money for your self love activity, and you have no excuses not to do it. This way you can truly express love towards yourself and feel loved and fulfilled all the time.
If you are working on your self love, or you wish you loved yourself more, remember to sign up for the self love freebie, or if you’re serious about your self love journey, plan your free one on one coaching call.
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