Regardless of your relationship status, I’d say that Valentine’s Day is a day that you either love, hate, or couldn’t care less about. Personally, I love it! I know that some people dislike how it encourages consumerism, but honestly, when is consumerism not encouraged? That’s a problem bigger than Valentine’s, and shouldn’t take away from the much appreciated escape from the February darkness if you ask me. A more appropriate critique towards today is how we shouldn’t wait for a special day to show each other love. This is another nonproblem if we choose to see Valentine’s as just another day to be loving, rather than our one chance at it. Instead, my biggest concern with Valentine’s is how I believe it to reinforce the notion that love should first and foremost be shown to other people. What about yourself? Again, regardless of your relationship status, today, just like any other day, should be about loving yourself. You can love others too, of course, but you should never forget to love yourself the way that you would love another. There are lots of ways to practice self-love, this blog is about love languages.
Supposedly, there are five different love languages: words of affirmation, quality time, gift giving, acts of service, and physical touch. Everyone is said to have a primary love language, one that we most prefer to be shown by ourselves and others. This doesn’t mean that they can’t all resonate with you, I like practicing them all! But with that being said, the love language which I consider to be my primary one is by far the one that I practice on myself the most, and the one that I believe that I couldn't be without in terms of feeling loved.
I’m not intentionally trying to quote The Perks of Being a Wallflower, but I do believe that we accept the love we think we deserve. By applying love languages to myself, I’ve learnt more about the love that I’m deserving of, and I’m more confident than ever that I won’t settle for anything less. But practicing love languages on myself means more to me than it does in relation to any future relationship of mine. My life has become indescribably better since realising that I am the love of my life. Of course I want to find the love of my life in someone else as well, and I know that I will, but I don’t feel rushed to do so, because I no longer feel like I need the love of someone else in order to feel whole. I’m having the best time with and by myself, and it’s important for me to know that that’s enough. As I’ve touched upon before, I don’t mean to say that my friends and family don’t mean the world to me. I just want to nurture the relationship with myself the same way as I do with any other relationship that I care about.
So how does one practice love languages on oneself? Everyone’s different and you’re going to have to figure out what works for you. Time spent loving yourself in any way is never wasted, but if you have no idea of where to start, you could take a quiz to see which could be your primary love language. I did so myself before starting this blog, and my result matched my own idea of what love language I prefer. Once you know which love language you want to explore, you’ll have to decide how you want to practice it. With the intention of inspiring your own journey, I’ll share some of the things that I like to do.
- Words of affirmation: In addition to positive self-talk, I like listening to love songs and pretending they’re about my love for myself. I understand that this might sound a bit strange to some of you, but don’t judge it until you’ve tried it. Born to Make You Happy by Britney Spears is a good example. I was born to make myself happy!
- Quality time: This summer, I made myself my favourite packed lunch and treat from when I was younger, got all dressed up, and took myself out on a little picnic date.
- Gift giving: 2020 was the year that I started buying myself flowers, and it’s really been a game changer for me. It just feels so special.
- Acts of service: I assign some time on Sundays to clean my room so that I get to start the new week with a decluttered workspace. It helps me be productive!
- Physical touch: Honestly, I had no idea that I’d enjoy this so much but try being mindful when moisturising your body. It’s about putting love into it rather than seeing it as a chore.
It’s important to remember that, similar to how self-care isn’t all about bubble baths and face masks, self-love isn’t all about buying yourself flowers or taking yourself out on dates. An aspect that may not seem as fun is self-discipline. Are you shaping the life you want your future self to enjoy? It’s my belief that your ability to undertake the more difficult aspects of self-love unfolds naturally when you start treating yourself right. So for now, enjoy the process of giving yourself the love that you’ve always deserved, and start getting yourself excited about how it enables you to work towards becoming the best version of yourself.