Photo by Alexandra Avelar
Can we normalize NOT feeling merry and bright this time of year? Despite the cultural pressure to feel joyful, hopeful, and in total harmony with our families, the truth is many of us struggle during the winter months.
While extending love to others is lovely, we thought we’d take a minute to look at how our love language can help us express love to our own incredible selves. Consider this your invitation to be gentle and kind to yourself this season, whatever you’re going through.
Words of Affirmation
If your love language is words of affirmation, you receive love by hearing positive things about yourself.
Here are a few ways you can shower yourself with love (in your own unique language!) this holiday season:
- When people ask what you’d like for Christmas, explain that in lieu of a gift, you’d like a note or letter telling you how and why they love you.
- Write a love letter to yourself.
- Create a brag folder - a place to store compliments or nice things people say about you. Refer back to it regularly, especially when you’re feeling blue.
- Read a childrens' book about love to yourself.
- Use affirmation cards.
Photo by The Lamare
- List five great things about yourself every day for a week (or month).
- Say something nice about yourself to another person every day for a week.
Acts of Service
If your love language is acts of service, you feel loved when people do nice things for you. But you don’t have to wait for others to love you in this way! You can also:
- Do things right now for your future self. Prep a few meals, hang up your clothes right away before they get wrinkles, start the coffee the night before, start a new habit, or go to bed early. Future you will feel so loved.
- That small task you’ve been putting off for forever? Do it for yourself as an act of love.
- Schedule a wellness visit as an act of love for yourself. Whether that looks like a standard doctor’s appointment, a checkup with your dentist, a visit with a therapist, or some acupuncture, taking care of your body is a great way to show yourself some love.
If your love language is gifts, who better to show love to yourself than - er - you? After all, you know exactly what you love...
Browse our gift guides here for special, unique gifts.
- Purchase something really special for yourself that you’d never normally buy. It doesn’t even have to be expensive.
If your love language is quality time, you feel loved when people spend focused time with you. We often forget to be unhurried and present with our own selves, though. Here are some ideas:
- Take yourself out for a meal (I regularly take myself to breakfast and I highly recommend it).
Spend an afternoon journaling (start with these prompts).
Photo by Annie Spratt
- Give yourself the gift of a new hobby (like this) and while you’re at it, feel free to cancel a few things on your calendar so you can stay in.
- Treat yourself to an experience. If you’re the outdoors type, REI has lots of great outdoor classes and events, most of which are extremely single-person friendly.
- Take yourself on a dérive.
If your love language is physical touch, you receive love through physical contact. But fear not! There are many ways to express love to yourself through physical sensation. Here are a few:
- Use a weighted blanket or neck wrap, which may boost your serotonin levels through deep pressure stimulation.
- Something similar happens when you use a foam roller or stretch (or do yoga).
- Take a bath. Use these bath salts or this herbal bath tea.
- Upgrade your skincare routine, and take your time pampering your face.
- Try gua sha. The touch feels amazing and rose quartz activates love (including self-love).
- Apply a soothing body lotion.
- Schedule a massage.