Have you ever heard the saying: “We must be selfish to be selfless?” If we do not truly learn how to care for ourselves, how can we expect to show up and care for our loved ones? When we are unable to show up from a place of love for ourselves, we are unable to be authentic in who we really are with the world around us. That being said, knowing your self-care language is vital in improving your relationship with yourself. The most important relationship you have in your life is the one you have with yourself. One of the ways to learn about how to best care for yourself is by knowing your love language. Your love language is how you like to receive love but can also be correlated to how you tend to express love.
The five love languages are:
- Physical Touch
- Quality Time
- Words of Affirmation
- Acts of Service
- Gift Giving
These are important to know in relationships because people tend to give love in the way they want to receive it. Someone whose love language is words of affirmation might say a lot of reassuring and loving things to their partner, but if their partner’s love language is physical touch, they might be feeling unloved because the way they want to receive it or the method that feels most validating is not what they’re getting and vice versa. It’s a great tool to use in a healthy relationship, but it’s also great to know for yourself.
When speaking about self-care, it’s great to know first HOW to best take care of yourself. In order to figure out which love language is yours, there is a quiz in the book “The Five Love Languages: How to Express Heartfelt Commitment to Your Mate“ by Gary Chapman, there also are some quizzes online, but you can also think about instances where you felt loved by your partner or ways you have imagined receiving love in a meaningful way. Was it spending quality one on one time with that person? When they filled your car with gas for you? When they said that they loved you, held your hand, or gave you a thoughtful gift out of the blue? Which has more meaning to you? Knowing your love language can be a great first step.
Here are some ways you can use your love language on yourself:
- Physical Touch– touch yourself! This does not have to be in a sexual way (although it certainly can be), but take time if you’re needing some self-care to just hug yourself. Hold your chest and belly while you breathe. Take some extra time to apply lotion to your body. This can be very grounding if you just lightly caress your arms, legs, feel connected to your physical body, notice it, and show it some love. You could also schedule a massage, stretch, or do some yoga.
- Quality Time– take time to be by yourself. Go for a walk alone, watch your favorite movie in bed, bake something, read a book, any activity where you can be alone with yourself. Journaling is a great way to be introspective and process your thoughts alone. Any time where you can do something that you want to do for yourself will be a great chance to have some quality alone time.
- Words of Affirmation– if you are someone that feels loved by hearing words of affirmation, you can do this for yourself! Think of some daily affirmations and say them to yourself in the mirror. This can be just 20 seconds in the morning where you stop and really speak kindly to yourself. Give yourself the love and validation that is meaningful to you.
- Acts of Service- how can you make your day easier? Maybe it’s by making a to-do list that you can stick to that will keep you organized, cooking a healthy meal for yourself, or cleaning your space. This one will focus more on how to make your life easier. What are some things you are doing or neglecting that weigh on you? How can you take something off of your plate?
- Gift Giving- buy yourself a treat! This seems like an easy one, but it’s important to note that there’s a difference between an impulse buy and buying something thoughtfully. Think about what it is you really want, what is something you can get for yourself that’s not something you necessarily need but something that you truly are desiring. It could be as simple as a baked good from your favorite pastry shop, a vase of flowers, or a pair of shoes that you have been eyeing for a while. People whose love language is gift-giving like the gifts because of the thought not because of the item, how can you show yourself thoughtfulness?
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Once you figure out what your love language or self-care language is, don’t be afraid to try and explore these methods of expression. Take yourself on a date, show yourself some T-L-C! Valentine’s Day is coming up, what better time to celebrate the most important love you can have?
If you are in need of some T-L-C in the form of physical therapy, contact our office in Cranston, RI today! We would love to help.