Loving and caring for yourself is difficult, it’s truly a journey. It’s not as simple as deciding you know what I love myself, and that’s it. You don’t get to just think it and automatically feel and treat yourself with the love and care you deserve. Self-care is an essential part of the journey to loving yourself.
One of my favorite concepts to teach people is love languages. Love languages are often perceived as how one feels love from another person, but it’s important to love yourself through your love language. Today we are going to learn how to practice self-care through our love language.
Physical Touch self-care can be performed in a few ways such as taking a warm bath or shower, doing a face mask, giving yourself a manicure or pedicure, or giving yourself a massage. One special technique I would like to emphasize for those whose love language is physical touch is Progressive Muscle Relaxation. This relaxation technique helps relieve the tension you are holding throughout your body. It is practiced by focusing on releasing tension in one muscle group at a time working throughout your entire body. This technique is helpful for immediate stress relief and also can be practiced regularly to lower your overall stress and tension.
Acts of Service self-care is personally one of my favorites because it is my love language, but to be honest this is where I tend to fall behind when things become stressful. Acts of service self-care can be performed as simply taking care of yourself, being productive. Some of my favorite acts of service self-care are planning my week, making to-do lists, and going to the gym. Cleaning my room and car or doing laundry are other self-care practices that I feel instant self-gratification after doing but tend to fall behind on when I am in a stressful time.
Quality Time self-care is one area I am grateful for becoming a master of. I truly enjoy my time to myself and believe because I have learned to love spending time with myself I learned to love myself to a great extent. Quality time self-care can be as simple as taking a drive by yourself. Going out for a drive with the windows down playing my favorite songs on the full volume after a long day is one of my favorite things! I know it can feel unpleasant at first to be alone and you may not be ready to go out for a meal at a restaurant alone but taking yourself on dates is important. Take it slow, make it a goal to go for a picnic date alone, and enjoy this great spring weather! Quality time self-care can also be as simple as reading a good book alone in your room with a nice candlelit. Take a nap, dance it out alone in your room, just enjoy hanging out with yourself. You have you for life, be your best friend.
Receiving Gifts self-care might be the most fun but we have to be careful we don’t want to overload and become harmful to ourselves or our wallet. Everyone deserves treats whether you’ve been doing well or not. Reminding yourself you are worthy of good things is important. Take yourself to get an iced coffee or go shopping with a budget and just enjoy something special for yourself. Last week was an abnormally stressful week for me so I let myself go to Ross with a budget to get some new spring clothes. I treated myself without harming myself financially.
Words of Affirmation self-care is another favorite of mine because it is my second love language! A happy mind and heart allow a happy life. You are going to encounter so many negative, mean, and judgemental people in your life and you are only going to have so much control over it. What you can control is what you think and say to yourself. If you know and love who you are you will develop a great shield against the hate in the world. Love notes have always been one of my favorite things to receive from others so I write my own. I have little encouraging notes up in my room that say positive things about myself such as “I am strong”, “You’ve done it before and you’ll do it again”, and “Gorgeous” next to my bathroom mirror. One key contributor to my confidence and self-love was the reassurance I give myself. Remind yourself of your amazing and unique qualities, you deserve to be proud of them.
Loving yourself is a journey, it doesn’t happen overnight. But you will fall in love with the process and every inch of growth you see and feel. Remember nothing worth having comes easy, and self-love is worth having.