First defined by Gary Chapman in his book The Five Love Languages, love languages are ways in which romantic partners express and experience love in a relationship. There are five in total, acts of service, words of affirmation, quality time, physical touch and gift giving, and it is said that each person has a preferred love language to express when they are in a relationship. These love languages demonstrate ways in which people can either give or receive love.
However, it has become increasingly popular to apply these love languages to yourself instead to show yourself compassion and self-love. In this article, we detail what activities you can incorporate in your daily routine to show yourself love and care. You could include some of these activities as part of either your morning or night routine, or dedicate a day of the week to your self-care activities.
These lists are non-exhaustive. There are plenty more examples of routines and activities you can find online (Pinterest is great for that). Also note that you can have multiple preferred love languages, so feel free to pick and choose from multiple categories!
1. Acts of Service
People whose love language is Acts of Service often like doing favours for others and appreciate favours being done for them. It is any act that releases the burden of responsibility. This is usually shown by cooking someone a meal, pampering your partner, doing something for them, etc. However, for Acts of Service to work, it must be reciprocated back to you.
Here are some activities you can do for yourself if your preferred love language is Acts of Service:
- do something for your future self,
- complete a task off your to-do list,
- cook yourself a homecooked meal,
- clean or declutter your house,
- donate clothes,
- set monthly goals to work towards.
2. Words of Affirmation:
Words of Affirmation are words or compliments that express your love and appreciation for someone, and vice versa. In other words, it’s calling your partner cute nicknames or praising them in any way.
Here are some activities you can do for yourself if your preferred love language is Words of Affirmation:
- start a gratitude journal,
- celebrate your wins,
- use positive affirmations,
- write notes to yourself and stick them around the house,
- try a mantra or self-love meditation.
3. Quality Time:
Quality Time is spending time with your significant other with no distractions and with undivided attention to each other. Quality Time includes activities such as going on a date together, having a movie night with a takeaway, going on a hike or walk, etc. The premise of Quality Time is also doing things without electronics, especially your phone. It allows for raw, uninterrupted time with your significant other.
Here are some activities you can do for yourself if your preferred love language is Quality Time:
- have a solo lunch date,
- go to a café,
- read a book,
- wake up early to spend time alone and in peace,
- be honest with yourself,
- go for a walk in nature.
4. Physical Touch:
If you like showing your love physically in ways that are non-sexual, such as giving a massage, hugging or holding hands, then your preferred love language might be Physical Touch. Physical Touch is a non-sexual touch that reinforces your presence with your partner.
Here are some activities you can do for yourself if your preferred love language is Physical Touch:
- go and get yourself a massage or facial,
- go and get your nails done,
- do your full skincare routine,
- do some yoga or gentle stretching,
- have a bath or shower,
- hug a pet or cuddly toy.
5. Receiving/Giving Gifts:
Last, we have Receiving/Giving Gifts. If your preferred love languages involves offering others gifts or receiving them and showing your love and appreciation through spontaneous gift giving, then Receiving Gifts might be your thing. These tangible symbols, to you, reflect effort and compassion in a relationship.
Here are some activities you can do for yourself if your preferred love language is Receiving/Giving Gifts:
- buy yourself flowers,
- buy yourself that thing you’ve been eyeing for a while,
- order a takeaway,
- invest in your hobbies,
- enroll on a new online class or course.