If there’s anything I’ve solidified in my relationship with my husband this past year, it’s our love languages. Staying home with your spouse for an entire year will do that to you. I think some people get confused when discussing love languages, so let’s break it down just a bit.
The five love languages are five different ways of expressing and receiving love: words of affirmation, quality time, receiving gifts, acts of service and physical touch. Not everyone communicates love in the same way, and likewise, people have different ways they prefer to receive love. 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, where he describes these five unique styles of communicating love. And love languages don’t just apply to your romantic relationships, but also friendships, family and children.
So as spring peeks her head around the corner, consider a way to push reset in the new season. Especially in a time like this where we are all struggling with burnout and hitting a wall, it’s more important than ever. It’s important to take your love language into account when you’re thinking about self-care because unless you’re in-tune with the way you best receive love and affection, you’ll never be able to fully reset.
Acts of service
This is my personal love language, and if it’s also yours, you know that the best way people can show their love for you is through small, simple acts. So do the same for yourself this spring! Do what makes you feel most loved. Ask yourself what you need and do it. Write down a list of what needs to get done in order to make your life easier and happier — and then make it happen. This can include running an essential errand, cleaning, cooking or getting organized. Then start to tick off those things, little by little. Each is an act of service for yourself.
Plan a date night for one (aka a relationship retreat—with yourself). If you can, clear your schedule and plan a two-day weekend with all your favorite self-care and personal development activities. Make time for yourself to just be or set time aside to do something that’s nourishing and helps you slow down. It can be as simple as relaxing and resting, meditation, yoga, reading a book, going on a walk, dancing or even just enjoying a nice meal by yourself. Dedicate these two days to quality time with yourself in order to hit “reset” this spring.
Words of affirmation
With words of affirmation as your primary love language, speaking positive mantras to yourself will fill your cup in a major way and expand your capacity to love yourself and others. Because words are what you value, use words to build yourself up. Whether that be via daily affirmations, journaling, writing yourself love letters or engaging in positive self-talk.
Set aside some time to write a letter to yourself. Focus on using words to build yourself up, to document your accomplishments and feel-good moments, and to be your own biggest cheerleader.
You might think the obvious answer here is “treat yo’self.” But if your primary love language is receiving gifts, there are a few different ways you can maximize that in order to reset for spring. Lots of things can be considered gifts with just a simple shift of mindset: the gift of time to do something just for you; cooking yourself a healthy meal, or even simply going to bed early. Plan a wellness-focused “treat yo’ self” night that will help you wave up feeling revitalized and loved. Buy yourself your favorite flowers or a new candle. It doesn’t mean you need to break the bank, giving yourself the gift of rest and self-love is key.
If your way of receiving love is through physical touch, good news. You don’t actually need another person to maximize your primary love language. Wrap up in a soft blanket by the fire. Schedule a foot massage or pedicure. Comforting temperatures and textures could also be incorporated into a self-care regimen in the form of a really soft blanket, robe or slippers. Take time to find your most comforting textures and setting and schedule time for meditation. Put your hand over your heart and take deep breaths to sit still and be present with your body, as you are sending breath and love to that area of your body.