With the day of love fast approaching, we’ve been thinking about the 5 Love Languages - and how they can be incorporated into our self care rituals.
Originally defined nearly thirty years ago, by marriage counsellor, Dr. Gary Chapman, in his book, "The Five Love Languages: How to Express Heartfelt Commitment to Your Mate", the 'love languages' include:
Acts of Service
Words of Affirmation
And our favourite - gifting!
While the intention of Chapman's work is to encourage partners to observe how their significant other shows love, in order to determine what their 'love language' is, and therefore gain insight into how they might desire to receive love in return, this month we're chatting about how we can use our own love language to express heartfelt commitment to ourselves, and today we’re sharing rituals for each love language that can help enhance our relationship to self - taking in account, the body, mind, and spirit.
What’s your ‘self-love language’?
Like your love language, your self-love language can shift over time or you may have multiple languages that contribute to your own personal sense of adoration. Our intention here is to create deeper self awareness and start to narrow down the self care rituals that feel deeply authentic and unique to us.
Acts of Service
Having someone cook for us, clean for us, or take something off of our to do list without being asked can really spark joy in those of us whose love language is Acts of Service. Taking time to cook ourselves a special meal and making the extra effort to set up our environment with candles and music can feel like an act of service to ourselves. Going out of your way to pick up some special ingredients from the farmers market on a day off can help make your later-in-the-week-self feel cared for and thought of. Similarly, choosing an afternoon to tidy up and declutter your space can do wonders for your mental health for the remainder of the week. Light or diffuse Recharge on a cleaning day. Stimulating peppermint and rosemary will keep you energized and on task. Enkindle some Palo Santo Incense as a final cleansing of the space when you’ve finished. Your later-in-the-week-self will thank you!
As human beings, we need physical touch. Touch actively calms the nervous system and releases oxytocin, the aptly named “love hormone”. Now, more than ever, it is important to incorporate physical touch into our self care routine. If this is your main love language, be sure to make it a daily practice. Developing a slow and intentional skincare routine is a great way to enhance physical touch. Massage balms and serums into the skin, moving the fingers in a circular motion and perhaps applying a little more pressure around the temples and jawline. Alternatively, indulge in a lighter touch ritual when applying our Green Tea & Glacial Clay Mask. We can also cultivate a more positive relationship with our bodies by practicing self massage, taking inventory of places that may need extra love and attention throughout the day and paying them special attention with this pre-bedtime ritual. And in times of stress, simply placing our hands over our hearts and bringing our attention to this physical sensation can help interrupt mental anxiety and overwhelm.
For many, nothing says I love you like receiving another person’s undivided attention, and while we are never without ourselves, time spent actively connecting to one’s self tends to fall to the wayside. Strike a match, light a stick of White Mayan Copal Incense, and commit to one hour of uninterrupted quality time with yourself. By the time the incense fizzles out, your relationship to self will be reignited. Leave the incense out where you can see it, so that you’ll feel prompted to engage in this ritual more regularly. Maybe your idea of quality time with yourself is indulging in a long, soothing bath. Pull out your favorite essential oil blend and some epsom salts in the morning and have them waiting for you near the tub when you return home. Be sure to set your phone aside during these rituals and resist the urge to plug into any music or other media. If sitting in quiet meditation is not your jam, try walking alone without headphones or practicing silent yoga as a moving meditation. You’d be surprised how much the inner voice has to tell you when you ready yourself to listen.
Words of Affirmation
For those whose love language is Words of Affirmation, nothing means more to us than expressions of gratitude, encouragement, and admiration. A handwritten note from someone we love can be deeply meaningful to us, especially when we know their words come from a truthful and genuine place. While repeating affirmations like I am beautiful or I am abundant out loud is helpful to some, many may find that some of these more generic statements bring up a lot of difficult emotions if they feel untrue or inauthentic. By dedicating some time to write out how we really feel about ourselves, identifying which beliefs are positive and empowering (these are our repeat-out-loud-as-often-as-possible statements!), along with which beliefs feel limiting and destructive, we not only create a deeper sense of self awareness, but we also will raise self worth, because we’re actually looking at all parts of ourselves with a sense of interest, curiosity, and care. Enhance this ritual by lighting or diffusing a scent that you feel inspires the kind of mindset you need to be in to do this work. We especially love our Rose & Palo Santo blend for this. Heart opening rose and grounding palo santo can help us feel rooted within ourselves enough to examine our thoughts and feelings at their deepest level.
Receiving a thoughtful gift can make us feel special and serve as a reminder that we are loved. Those who identify Gifting as their personal love language tend to value the intention behind the gift even more than the gift itself. When we’re about to achieve a long term goal, like finishing a degree or getting promoted, gifts from loved ones can be expected, but finding something symbolic of this achievement to honour yourself with can also be incredibly meaningful. Choose a sustainable piece of clothing that’s extremely versatile so that you can wear it all the time. Whenever you go to put it on or catch your reflection in the mirror while wearing it, you’ll be reminded of your achievement. Our Start a New Tradition Gift Set was specially designed for incorporating new rituals when moving through a transition in life, like changing cities, switching careers, or moving in with a partner. All of which are opportunities for you to gift you. But it can also be smaller tokens of self-appreciation, to commemorate simpler but equally significant moments of growth, like when you handle a conflict with a friend or loved one differently than you have in the past, or you stand up for yourself in a way you never have before.
From February 4th to 8th, get 10% off the GLOW Bundle. Apply the code GIFTYOURSELF when prompted at checkout. Code expires on February 8th at 11:59 pm PST.
Wishing you a Happy Valentine’s Day this year. Whether you’re spending it with a special someone (you!), or a special someone else, we hope that you’ll use this year’s day of love as a starting point for honouring your personal love language in of your relationships!
All imagery by Sheena Zilinski (@sheenazilinski)