For my last blog post of 2018, I’m inspired to combine two of my favorite topics: the Five Love Languages and self-love. Although I’ve written about each of them in previous posts, the importance of applying your love language to the relationship with yourself, is a topic I’ve not covered, yet seems vital. Bestowing self-love via your preferred love language seems the surest way for your heart and soul to understand, receive, and thrive from your love. Imagine the pleasure of your partner showing his/her love to you in a way that is meaningful to you and allows you to tangibly feel that love, and then imagine being able to give that feeling to yourself – WOW!

If you are not familiar with the Five Love Languages or aren’t sure which of the five is your language of loving, you may take the quiz here. You can also check out love language basics in my previous blog post here. Once you are clear on which love language speaks to you, continue reading for tips on how you can strengthen the relationship with yourself through the language of love.

WORDS OF AFFIRMATION: Do you have an inner critic that points out what you’re doing wrong or tells you how unattractive, inefficient, ineffective, and lacking you are? Words of Affirmation is about speaking kindly, empathetically, and lovingly to yourself. Become aware of your self-talk and get into the practice of stopping it the minute it goes toxic. Replace harsh and unfair condemnations with words of praise for the many things that you do right and good. Thank yourself every time you make a decision that is in your own best interest. Always speak positively to yourself, thank yourself for all the good decisions you make, and show empathy to yourself (instead of criticism) when you haven’t lived up to your own ideal. People blossom and grow through praise, not criticism; allow yourself to flourish by focusing on encouraging rather than discouraging yourself.

ACTS OF SERVICE: Acts of Service are the physical ways in which we show our love. Just as you would ‘do’ things for someone you love like preparing their favorite foods, running errands for them, or helping them with a project – you can show love to yourself through your actions. Prepare tasty and nutritious meals and serve them to yourself on your best tableware. Clear up your ‘to do’ list by tackling tasks you’ve been procrastinating and free up the space in your mind that’s burdened by them. Cut yourself some slack in your busy schedule by allowing yourself to ‘play hooky’ and spend the day at a spa, an amusement park, or enjoying the wonders of nature.

RECEIVING GIFTS: Loving yourself through Receiving Gifts isn’t about taking yourself on a whirlwind shopping spree and buying out the mall, the crucial aspect of this love language is the thoughtfulness and care behind the gift. Giving for the sake of giving isn’t the point – the point is loving through giving. Show self-love by buying things that you genuinely connect with and make you feel good. Choose quality over quantity and spoil yourself through your purchases. This isn’t a green light to overspend or over-extend yourself – work with the budget you have, but don’t skimp on yourself – gift as generously to yourself as you gift to others and buy things that you love rather than what you will be ‘satisfied’ with.

QUALITY TIME: Spending Quality Time with yourself is important no matter which love language you speak, but even more so when it’s your preferred love language. Our lives are so full of distractions that I bet we spend considerably less time alone than ever before. If your free time is consumed with television, computer games, surfing the web, or scrolling Facebook, you are taking quality one-on-one time away from yourself. This love language requires that you regularly disconnect from diversions and just ‘be’ with yourself. Go for solitary walks, meditate, ride your bike, dance to your favorite songs, nurture a hobby, or start those tango (or guitar, or skydiving, or French) lessons that you’ve been yearning to take but haven’t made time for.

PHYSICAL TOUCH: Self-loving through Physical Touch means knowing and nurturing the physical side of yourself. Instead of jumping out of bed in the morning and rushing into your day, take a couple of minutes to stretch and feel your body in the morning. Ditch the perfunctory shower and luxuriate in an indulgent bubble bath, gently exfoliating your skin with a loofah and scented oils. Use high quality soaps and lotions, natural bristle brushes, and natural fabrics. Be conscious of physical sensations in your body and learn what feels good and what feels bad to you. Touch is one of only five senses that we’ve been given with which to experience this world so allow yourself the freedom of self-loving through physical touch.

Wishing you a happy and healthy 2019!