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Self-Care Using The 5 Love Languages

Angeli Sivaraman
Angeli Sivaraman
5 min read
Self-Care Using The 5 Love Languages
Photo Cred: Angeli Sivaraman (myself)

Table of Contents

Do you all remember the book The 5 Love Languages: Secrets to Love that Lasts by Gary D. Chapman?  I read this book back in 2017.  He mentions there are 5 main ways to give and receive love: words of affirmation, acts of service, physical touch, quality time, and gifts.  One thing to note is that these are not just limited to romantic relationships. They can be used for any kind of relationship!

For today, let's spin his love languages into our own love languages for self-care :)

Self-care is so important. It's probably the number one important thing in life, after shelter and safety, and surviving. Self-care is how we fill up our own tanks in our own way, and each person's self-care toolkit will look uniquely different from others.  We truly cannot give to others what we haven't first given to ourselves.  

I know this lesson deeply from working in the healthcare industry.

When I think about my own self-care toolkit, I think of meditation, journaling, Emotional Freedom Technique tapping (EFT), alone time, couch time, and Rocco time (Rocco is my dog, for those of you that are new to this blog). To me, self-care is spiritual, because it enhances connection to Self.  Feel free to refer to my post about building a spiritual practice for more information.

I think what would be interesting would be to formulate a self-care plan categorized the 5 love languages. Why? Because we deserve it :)

If you haven't yet taken a quiz on your top love languages, consider going here:

Words of Affirmation

In case you haven't read The 5 Love Languages, words of affirmation is about giving or receiving compliments, using positive affirming words, and building people up. We can do this for ourselves!! Words of affirmation is always a top one for me and one that I do easily give to others. It makes me feel good to do this for myself  and to give it to others. Especially because society, culture, and the ego has taught us to basically hate ourselves, I always like to override that and remind myself and other people of their worthiness.

Some examples of ways to practice words of affirmation for yourself:

  • Gratitude journaling
  • Keeping a compliments journal (I actually do this at work)
  • Writing out or reciting affirmations
  • Keeping a "Times I Showed Up" list - when I was trying to overcome my perfectionism (still am), I would write out lists of things I did for the day. This could include brushing my teeth, going to work, eating lunch, talking to a friend, going for a run, meditating. Showing up matters! And it's enough :) Remember, it's about the intention. It helped me focus less on my mistakes and more on what mattered.

Acts of Service

This love language is about doing tasks that make you feel supported and taken care of, as well as less stressed. Often this can be related to chores, such as housework or yard work, or asking your computer-savvy brother to help you fix your blog <3

I'll also mention that I grew up with parents who used to cook for us all the time, so I consider a home cooked meal its own love language. But for the sake of keeping it to 5 love languages, we'll fit it in here :)

Here are some Self-Care Acts of Service examples:

  • Tidying your house
  • Cooking yourself a lovely meal
  • Planting flowers
  • Doing the dishes
  • Taking out the trash
  • Ordering delivery

Physical Touch

In relationships, this might look like hugging, kissing, holding hands, cuddling, or sex.  And this can be applied to ourselves as well!

There are actually many ways to practice self-touch that feel surprisingly great! I recently learned about Supportive Touch & Self-Compassion Technique, a mindfulness technique where during the meditation you touch your heart, then your face, and then give yourself a hug. You hold each one for about 30 seconds. I felt so supported and at ease! Now when I want a hug, I give it to myself :)

Ways to practice physical touch on yourself:

  • Touching your face
  • Giving yourself a hug!
  • Touching your heart
  • Using blankets - weighted, or otherwise
  • Taking a bubble bath or a hot shower
  • Cuddling with your dog :) bonus points if it's with a blanket too
  • Yoga
  • Sexy time with yourself!

Quality Time

Simply put, quality time is spending time either together with someone, or in this case, alone. If you are an introvert like me, this is totally welcomed and needed to recharge. I relish quality time alone. It gives me more energy to then spend on my endeavors and with others!  

Quality time can look differently for different people. Some examples include:

  • Scheduling time off
  • Turning off your phone (or silencing the notifications)
  • Spending time in nature
  • Going for a walk or run
  • Meditating
  • Doing breathwork
  • Journaling your feelings
  • Camping


This one is pretty self-explanatory. And some people really recharge with a little retail therapy! Gifts can come in the form of physical items or experiences. Perhaps time could also be a gift? Hmm.

Examples include:

  • A new outfit
  • A new book
  • A new journal oooh
  • A hot beverage
  • A subscription for something you were really eyeing
  • A massage - which could also be under the physical touch category
  • A vacation
  • Anything that makes your life a little easier!

Self-care is the best thing we can do for ourselves. It sets us up for success each and every day. It is so important to have a toolkit we can go to as a daily practice. It may not include every part of every list as above, but having at least a couple of things on deck can make a huge difference in how you show up in the world at any given moment - whether that is with ourselves or with others.

And it matters.

Supporting our self-care also makes us more resilient in the long term. It helps to have healthy tools we can turn to when we are feeling off, triggered, alone, or scared.  Or burned out!!! When we fill up our own cups first, we have so much more to give to others in our lives. And they will appreciate you for it (perhaps by using one of your top love languages!)

I hope you enjoyed this post today! This week's exercise includes a template at the bottom of the page as a guide to help you build your own self-care toolkit using the 5 love languages!

Download it today! It is free!

What are your top love languages and how can you support them with your own self-care?



"I am the one I've been looking for" - Iyanla Vanzant

P.S. - Rocco's top love languages: physical touch, quality time, gifts (aka treats)!


  1. Chapman, Gary D. The 5 Love Languages:  Secrets to Love that Lasts. Northfield Publishing: 2015.
  2. "5 love languages". Love Language Quiz. Date Accessed: May 8, 2022
  3. Wolfe, Christiane and Serpa, J. Greg. A Clinician's Guide to Teaching Mindfulness. New Harbinger Publications, Inc. Oakland, CA: 2015.

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Angeli Sivaraman is a spiritualist, meditator, nature junkie, and dog mom. She is the creator of Sage Elephant, a blog about spirituality and wellness. She can be reached by email!