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As promised in last weeks "If You Rest, You Will Rise" bulletin, this week I wanted to share ways in which we can spend our time resting, with regard to our love language. A lot of people use rest and sleep as if they are interchangeable, but rest has a far broader scope of coverage. Rest can be either passive or active. It is a self-care practice that can help us to recover from mental and physical exertion. It goes far beyond disconnecting, it's about pouring into ourselves, the way we most enjoy, so that we are never running on E. That is why I want to speak about love languages, because more than not, humans tend to pour more love and care into others than they make time to do for themselves.
I completely understand the desire to want to be extraordinary lovers/partners/friends to others and vice versa; but I’m more interested in humans wanting to be extraordinary lovers/partners/friends to and for themselves. For some years now, almost monthly, I’ve seen social media posts across all platforms, inspired by Dr. Gary Chapman’s book, The 5 Love Languages (phenomenal read by the way), urging people to learn how to properly love others depending on how they prefer to receive love. Of course I support that message, but I don’t like how there’s this emphasis on loving outward, before there is strong, powerful messaging about loving inward.
I’d like the pursuit of self-love to truly start being pushed to the forefront of all of our lives. We all deserve to be loved, especially by our very own selves. It’s our responsibility. It’s important to prioritize ourselves and encourage others to do the same. I’ve emphasized the idea of being kind and gentle with ourselves in past articles,that rings true in these practices as well. Take care of your mind, take care of your body, know your worth, and set the standard for others.
So, I wanted to share the 5 love languages you may or may not be familiar with and tell you about some ways you can practice them on yourselves. It’s a great way to incorporate overall self-care into your daily routine. Hell, give yourself all of the languages. This will ensure that the most important relationship in your life, the one you have with yourself, is always tended to and never forgotten.
Words of Affirmation. This is the no cost way to pour into yourself daily. Choosing to encourage, rather than belittle yourself. Choosing to celebrate, rather than shame yourself. Choosing to comfort, rather than abandon yourself. Speaking life into yourself sets the standard for how and what you will allow others to speak into you. The more you affirm the beautiful and true things about yourself, the easier it is to hear the not-so-beautiful things without choosing to absorb them. Positive affirmations that begin with, “I can”, “I will”, “I am”, “I love”, “I appreciate”, and “I thank” are the starting points of connecting with yourself in kindness and assurance.
Gifts. If getting gifts from other people brings you joy, girl, go ahead and pick yourself up something nice. Treat yourself, honey. Not in the irresponsible, impulsive, I’m going to regret this later way. Get yourself that one thing you want, that you deserve, but have put off because you normally only spend on what you NEED or on other people. Send yourself flowers, buy that art piece, get those shoes, grab that bag, rock that outfit, throw on that jewelry, snatch up that concert ticket, or whatever type of gift best suits you. Of course, it’s nice when someone else is spending the money, but you do want to practice giving to yourself, especially if you tend to be the person that forgets yourself.
Quality Time. Are you familiar with the Warsan Shire quote, “My alone feels so good, I’ll only have you if you’re sweeter than my solitude.”? For those that appreciate quality time, when you spend it with yourself you want to aim to make it just as, if not, more sweet than you would if you were spending it with someone else. You put that phone on DND and spend time doing YOU! That could mean making your favorite meal, reading a book, listening to music while dancing in the mirror, going for a walk, taking a nap, journaling, or watching your favorite movie. There are so many ways to enjoy your own company and spend time just loving on yourself. Like the quote, if you practice the love language of qt on yourself, the less likely you are to confuse what being in another person’s company should feel like. Because you have developed this love of being alone, you minimize the chance of clinging to unhealthy people out of loneliness.
Physical Touch. I’m all about affection. In the beginning of applying my love language to myself for myself, I had to figure out how I could give myself that physical touch that most comforted me. You know, I can't rub my own back. I bought a scalp massager, a foot bath with jets, a foam roller, and a weighted blanket for when I feel like I need a hug. Even my skincare routine is a part of this language. Thank goodness for technology, because there are so many contraptions that allow for physical touch that you’d probably have a hard time making happen without another person. Getting a professional massage can fall into this category as well, but I eliminated that during the pandemic, when I no longer had that option. It's forced me to extend romance, relaxation, and responsibility to myself.
Acts of Service. How to apply this one to yourself; think of something you can do that’ll make your days easier. It’s usually something we put off, because life has been life-ing. Clean your living space, do laundry, fill-out your weekly planner, put money in your savings, meal-prep, or anything that’s going to make your day, week, or month a little bit smoother.
What I'm saying is, the only person who you're with or who is with you 24/7 is YOU. Make sure that is the first person you are tending to and caring for most. Learn your love language, but also try to give yourself a little bit of each kind. The more you care for yourself, the better you'll be able to show up for others. The more you rest with intention, the less daunting and more productive your days will be when you have to do the things, like work, that help you to maintain a living.
What is your love language? How do you practice it on yourself? How can you incorporate more of your love language into your daily routine? Do you give love to yourself better than or as good as you give love others?
Hey Sloane Hive,
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