There is more to self-love than spa appointments or shopping sprees...

My struggle to self-love

I remember staring at my coach and asking “But how do I practice loving myself more?” and she responded “Do the things you love.”

 

Do the things I love? This was a difficult one for me because as far as I can remember I loved doing things for others and with others, so how do I do the things I love on my own? What do I love to do? This was the next question I asked myself. I got home from the session and went straight to the internet to find self-love routines and boy, were the results vague and presumptuous. That set me on a quest to really find out how and what to do when I had my self-love days. I started making lists of the things I loved to do for and with others. I developed a system for finding out what I love to do and could do for me that had nothing to do with shopping sprees or spa days.

 

This was halfway through my discovery of what self-love meant to me, yes it is a personal thing but that’s where knowing your love language comes in. The five love languages according to Dr. Gary Chapman are “Words of Affirmation, Acts of Service, Quality Time, Gifts and Physical Touch”.

 

We normally would consider these more in romantic relationships in order to understand our partners, however I discovered that we tend to shower others with our love language. Have you ever wondered why you feel drained when in a crowd of good friends (even tough you like spending time with them) but are very happy when you’re sharing quality time with just one of them? Or why you feel dissatisfied when you prefer to keep your space tidy and would love to have your partner just clean up once without you asking?

Why understanding your love language helps you build a better self-love routine

Your love language might be quality time or acts of service and knowing this helps a lot when practicing self-love. You can take the test on Dr. Chapman’s website to find out what your predominant love language(s) is. You can have two that rank very high and that’s okay. The point here is understanding your love language will help you figure out what you love to do and therefore be able to incorporate it into your self-love routine without feeling like you’re doing it wrong. I personally have two dominant love languages, but I enjoy a bit of the others as well. 

 

Below I will give an example of how I incorporate each of these into my self-love routine on my “me-days” with the love language in mind and on a low budget!

Words of affirmation

I start my day with devotion, meditation and journaling. In my meditation, I focus on self-love or loving kindness meditations and then journal about the things I am grateful for about myself. I will pick a mantra to focus on during the day and affirm this to myself throughout the day.

Acts of service

On my “me-day” I tidy up my living space, bedroom, change the sheets of the bed, cook something nutritious and bake a dessert to go with it. Then I will set a table for myself and create a date night atmosphere for me to enjoy my evening.

Quality time

Before my dinner, I will either go out for a long walk (sometimes I take my journal so I can sit and journal) or I draw myself a bath. Once again, create an atmosphere of love by lighting candles, playing soft music or whatever puts you in the mood of love and live in that moment for a good 20-30 minutes. Above are just examples of what you can do, just as long as you spend some quality time with yourself and enjoy it!

Gifts

I love flowers, so I make sure to buy whatever is in season when I go grocery shopping. Sometimes I decide to get myself something new at the supermarket that I want to try, it can be a new chocolate bar, a drink, wine whatever you can buy for yourself that isn’t a necessity.

Physical touch

Either right after my bath or before going to bed I will give myself a facial massage or massage any part of my body (that I can reach) that feels tight.

"What if I don't enjoy all this 'girly' stuff?"

You might enjoy some of the examples I gave more than others, or the examples above might not be right for you. The important thing is knowing that your love language can help you have a more enriching self-love routine. Your self-love routine / journey is a personal thing, so you get to define what the elements should be. Knowing and understanding what lights your heart even when you experience it alone is vital in nurturing yourself.

 

If you’re interested in knowing how to determine what you truly love to do according to my system, please be in touch!

About the author: Sheila Daisy is a certified transformational life coach who’s purpose in life is to encourage individuals to love, accept and know themselves exactly as they are. To help women especially find self acceptance and by so doing knowing their worth and building the confidence to speak up and show up exactly as they are with what they’ve got.