Let’s talk about love languages!
I mean it only seems right to do so, as we are fast approaching the wonderful day of love and romance! Yes, Valentine’s Day is all about celebrating the beauty of love and the joy it brings in our lives, especially when that love is shared with a very special person in your life. Let me ask you a quick question: are you familiar with the book The Five Love Languages written by Dr. Gary Chapman? Well, it basically outlines five general ways that romantic partners express and experience love for one another, and here they are:
- words of affirmation;
- quality time;
- receiving gifts;
- acts of services, and;
- physical touch.
All of us have at least one or two love languages that we express to our loved ones, whether it’s to a partner, a family member or a friend of ours, and these tend to be the kind of love languages that we would love to receive or love receiving. But there’s something that we need to all remember. Look below.
What exactly do I mean by “home“
We’re often told to always treat others the same way we would like to be treated, right? But do you treat yourself the way you’d like to be treated? I’ll let you think about that a little.
Now don’t worry: we all prioritise on having better relationships with others but, it’s never too late to start focusing on our relationship with ourselves. If you’re familiar with my blog posts then you would have seen that at the start of this year I made a promise to “focus on me“, and this including practicing love languages on MOI. Looking for a little inspiration on how to start? Well, there’s no need to look any further.
In this post I’m going to:
- briefly explain each of the five love language and;
- share with you some of the ways I practice these five love languages on myself.
So let’s jump straight in with the first one, shall we?
Love Language One: Words of Affirmation
Whether they are spoken or written, words are beautiful and extremely powerful. Words of affirmations can really help uplift you, support you and just make you feel so much better about yourself. Yes, it’s always great to hear compliments from others but it feels so nice to hear it coming from yourself and sometimes, that’s all you need to feel a little better.
How I practice words of affirmations
Journaling: ****this is one of my favourite forms on practising this love language for myself. It’s basically my space of me having conversations with me: I talk about how my day went, what went well and what made me mad, I write down the goals I have for myself each month and I write down encouraging messages to myself whenever I feel a little down.
Reading: I love reading in general, and it’s always nice to spend five minutes of your day some daily inspirational messages. There are so many Instagram accounts that are motivational, positive and comforting. One of my favourite pages that I follow is “areformidable”: I always tend to re-share posts that I feel resonate with me, plus as it’s a French page it’s always nice to get some practice. I always read them aloud which I really recommend you do as it really does help you process the meaning of the message.
Some suggestions of activities I also practice:
- Positive podcasts.
- Motivational YouTube videos.
- Writing down what you’re grateful for.
- Writing down three to five achievements you’re proud of.
- Have a positivity jar with little notes of encouragement
Love Language Two: Quality Time
We all love spending a bit of quality time with our loved ones, right? Giving them our undivided attention and it’s nice receiving their undivided attention too but, how about treating yourself with your undivided attention? After all, you do deserve it. So instead of wasting time procrastinating, give your mind a break and treat yourself to some quality time.
How I practice quality time:
Pamper day: anyone who knows me will know just how much I love a pamper day, and I will happily use any excuse to have one. My pamper day usually involves exfoliating my skin, steaming my face, having a face mask, painting my nails and having some scented candles lit up whilst listening to the wonderful women from The Receipts podcast.
Exercise: now, this doesn’t sound as relaxing as the previous activity but believe me, this is something that really does help boost my energy and make me feel so much better for myself. One particular form of exercising that I’ve been doing since the first lockdown in March last year, is pilates. I have been raving on about this for months now and I think my friends have become sick of hearing me say it. But, not only have I found that it has helped tone my body but it has really helped me feel ready for my day.
Some suggestions of activities I also practice:
- Going out for a walk
- Get off the socials and read a book
- Brain games like sudoku
- Praying (or meditating)
- Have a little power nap
Love Language Three: Receiving gifts
I love presents, and I’m sure you do too! I love the feeling I get when I treat others to presents, especially seeing their reaction when they open them and the smile it brings on their faces. I love the feeling of receiving presents from my loved ones too, because it just goes to show just how thoughtful they are. And here’s a little reminder for you: there is nothing wrong with you treating yourself to some presents either, and these presents can be anything. It could be a new book that you’re interested in, or that Zara jacket you’ve had your eye on for five consecutive weeks. Mon chaton, you deserve it!
How I practice receiving gifts.
Flowers: this is something I started doing in the first lockdown as a way to cheer myself up. In the first national lockdown I was in my final year of uni, I had a dissertation to complete, I had lost a loved one to COVID and the only time I ever went out was to town for a food-shop. One time I went into M&S (for their Pornstar Martini drink which I recommend) and they were giving customers free bouquets of flowers. At that moment I just thought to myself, “I’ve never received flowers from anyone, so why wait until that day happens?” Since then, I like treat myself to some pretty flowers because why the hell not? Flowers are always a lovely touch to your room.
Items that you need to help achieve a personal goal of yours: one personal goal I wish to achieve in this year (and forever more) is clearer, less oily skin and so with the help of my sister who is my skincare guru, I have been doing my research and have bought some skincare products to help achieve those goals. So far, I have seen some progress with some of the products I have bought and I feel that slowly, I am getting closer to being able to go out with minimal make-up. I recommend that you do your research thoroughly to ensure that you make sensible purchases: read reviews, watch YouTube videos or reach out to someone who you know can give you great advice.
Some suggestions of activities I also practice:
- An oil diffuser
- Scented candles and/or some new perfume
- Some new house plants
- A new pair of gym leggings
- Dessert – like a tub of ice-cream or a chocolate fondant cake
Love Language Four: Acts of Service
This love language is when you do something for that person you love that you know will make them happy or will even make their day, as it shows just how much of a thoughtful person you are by taking time out of your day in order to do that little something. It could be something as small as taking out the rubbish or cooking them their favourite meal. When it comes to practicing this love language on yourself, there are a loads of questions you can ask yourself that will help you feel more productive or happier in your day-to-day life.
How I practice arts of service
Reach out to loved ones: it’s always nice to get a message from someone asking how you’re doing, and I personally want to make sure that all those I love and care for are doing okay. I mean being locked indoors for the third time isn’t great, especially as it means we can’t go out and see the faces of those who make us laugh or even cry sometimes. It literally only takes a few seconds to type and send a “Hey, just wanted to ask how you are?” message to someone, and sometimes you may even be surprised to find that the following week they send you a little message to check up on you.
Having a big tidy-up: don’t you feel less claustrophobic after giving your room a bit of a clean? I don’t know about you but I can never be bothered to clean my room and before, I use to only do so if it got to a point where everything was everywhere. In order to get this task out of the way, I usually set myself a timer for 20 or 30 minutes to give the place a bit of a tidy-up. This way, I’m effectively “against the clock” so it helps me put by game face on and get on with the task.
Some suggestions of acts of services I also practice:
- Redecorate your room
- Declutter your drawers and wardrobe
- Set yourself calendar reminders of special days like birthdays.
- Cook a Sunday roast (anyone knows me knows that I love a Sunday roast)
- Make yourself a feel-good music playlist.
Love Language Five: Physical touch
Physical touch is really self-explanatory and it can be anything like hugs, kisses, a shoulder massage… I could go on. It’s the one form that doesn’t have to be intimate, doesn’t cost a thing and doesn’t require you to do a chore that you wasn’t planning to do in the first place. You don’t even have to say a word but it makes that person feel safe and loved, aren’t those the feelings you want to feel as well? Okay, be giving yourself a hug may sounds a little weird but there are so many other things you can do to embrace yourself, or give your body that TLC it needs.
How I practice physical touch:
Stretching: this is something that I’ve made an effort to keep up since the start of this year, and I make sure to do this before going to bed. It’s great way to increase your blood flow and to help your muscles relax, especially after a long day of doing (what feels like) nothing! I find that I always sleep better after stretching and it’s great for any lower back pains. Just 10 minutes of stretching is all I need to have a good night’s sleep.
Aromatherapy: a.k.a. scented candles! Whenever I light some scented candles in my room, I feel more relaxed and it help me get into my productive zone. It’s a great mood booster and one of the best “do not disturb” signs there is, in my opinion. I think one day I’m going to dedicate a whole blog post to just scented candles as I think they deserve their own little spotlight. Oil diffusers are also really good for creating that relaxing atmosphere, and there are loads of oils you can use like lavender for helping reduce stress, and lemon to help lift up your energy.
Some suggestions of physical touch I practice:
- Exfoliating your body in a warm shower
- Skincare pamper day
- Have a bubble bath
- Moisturising your skin with some shea butter and oils
- Chill day in silk pyjamas
Mon chaton, it’s time you show yourself the love that you deserve and not feel guilty about it whatsoever. I mean, how do you expect anyone to love you they way you want to be loved if you don’t practice those love languages on yourself? Self-love is key in helping you accept yourself for you who are: it’s completely healthy, and it vital for your physical and mental well-being. Start prioritising yourself right now.