While love still lingers in the air post-Valentine’s Day shenanigans, many of us, single or not, may be bearing the effects of the pandemic: cold rainy weather and what feels like a never-ending winter quarter. As someone who finds solace in spending time alone, it admittedly can get a little too lonely for my liking. With the over-purchasing of self-help books, rose quartz crystals, and the endless left swipes on Tinder, I’ve tried looking for new hobbies and interests to fill this little heart-shaped void.
During my four-hour scroll session on TikTok, I came across several videos that showed them taking themselves out on a date or even doing the smallest acts of self-love. One video that particularly caught my attention was someone that decided to dedicate their whole day to loving themselves in all the Five Love Languages.
The phenomenon of the Five Love Languages essentially describes how we showcase our love to the people around us and more importantly, how we wish to be loved. They consist of quality time, words of affirmation, receiving gifts, acts of service, and physical touch. It’s quite often that we will fixate on the ways that we can fix how we act to please the people we love around us, but yet we never really take the time to divert that same energy to ourselves. I know what you’re thinking … this might just be over-the-top cheesy, but I’ve found how important it is to dedicate time and energy to yourself as much as you do to others.
As busy college students, we are constantly balancing classes, internships, part-time jobs, and a somewhat disintegrating social life, that we never take time for ourselves. I’ve found that dedicating a day or two out of my week to indulge in the things I enjoy has helped me cope with the lonely feelings healthily. Here are some ideas that I’ve gathered that I hope will help kickstart your self-love journey
This is probably the most self-explanatory out of the five love languages, but spending quality time with yourself is the best way to get to know yourself and what you enjoy doing. When I choose to spend time alone, I find that indulging in my favorite hobbies such as painting, cooking, and reading helps put my mind at ease. If I’m feeling quite spontaneous that day I will usually explore a part of my town that I’ve never been to before — following social distancing guidelines of course — and grab a quick bite from a local restaurant. I find that when I do this, nine out of ten times I will discover a new favorite spot to visit. Lastly, another way to spend quality time is to just blast music in my room and dance like nobody’s watching … because nobody’s watching. It may sound odd at first, but just trust me and do it.
Words of Affirmation
When dealing with this love language, I find that journaling my emotions has become a healthy mechanism to help organize my thoughts, as well as put certain situations into perspective. Another method that I find helpful is writing a letter to my future self and essentially picturing myself with all the tangible and intangible things that I desire to have in the future.
Acts of Service
I find this love language to be one of my favorites because it’s like killing two birds with one stone — I use this time to organize, plan, and complete all my important tasks while also feeling a sense of accomplishment. Other methods I find to be quite therapeutic include going grocery shopping and exercising alone, knowing that I have this time to put energy into myself.
This love language is encouraging you to splurge and indulge in the materialistic aspect that comes with love, but of course, proceed with caution. If you’re anything like me, you might just get carried away and use this as an excuse to buy the black platform boots you’ve been eyeing on the Demonia website for months. Instant gratification is better than nothing at all!
Last, but certainly not least of the love languages comes physical touch. Taking care of my skin has become a crucial part of my self-love journey and I find that developing my skincare regimen has helped me immensely in feeling rejuvenated, especially if I’ve just been sluggish the whole day. I also use this time as an excuse to alter my physical appearance in every way that I can. If you’ve been scrolling through Pinterest looking under the tags “mullet” and “red hair dye,” this is your sign to take the leap of faith and do it! Dying or cutting your hair, getting a tattoo, or even a nose piercing two days before Christmas is the ultimate mood booster that will have you feeling like a completely new person. Life is too short to not try everything at least once!