Using Your Love Language to Cope with Lupus
It can be hard to work on self-care for yourself in between pain and life. Self-care is anything that will make your life better and meet your needs. After reading Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman, I found it important to apply it to myself on my lupus journey. Gary Chapman created the concept to show love to others. But we all have an obligation to show love to ourselves as well. The love we offer ourselves has the potential to improve many aspects of our life.
What are the 5 love languages?
Words of affirmation
According to Chapman, words of affirmation are the most common love language and are about verbal expression. Words of affirmation can show your love and respect for yourself. It can be verbal or a written love note to you. Other ways you can practice this love language on yourself is by positive self-talk, journaling, or positive affirmations. If you feel like this is your love language, you can use it often to help combat negative thoughts and feelings.
It's important to give yourself undivided attention. You give it to so many others, and it's only fair to make sure you save some for yourself. In order to spend quality time with yourself, go out on a date with just you. Spend some time practicing mindfulness and meditation. Make moments in your schedule daily to have some alone time. It's all about expressing your self-love and affection with your undivided attention and limiting distractions to be still and love yourself. If you feel like this is your love language, you can use it often to refresh and rejuvenate daily.
Physical touch can encompass so many different things. Things that you do that can be meaningful to you on your lupus journey can dramatically change your day. With this in mind, a physical expression of self-love can be intimate or non-intimate. You could try a new skincare routine or maybe even a scalp massage. Planning a spa day and getting a massage from others is a fantastic way to express self-love. A relaxing bath or shower is another way to touch and express self-love physically. Further, self-pleasuring, which is often a taboo subject, is an important way to convey self-love. If you feel like this is your love language, you can use it often to combat loneliness and fear.
Acts of service
My father was a pastor growing up, and he would always encourage us to serve others. As I thought about this love language for self-love, I've learned to serve myself before others. For example, acts of service to yourself can look like booking a therapy session to deal with tough lupus issues, communicating your needs for help, setting boundaries, or knowing when to say yes or no to things. If you feel like this is your love language, you can use it often to combat fatigue and overexerting yourself.
My sister often told me that she was going on a retail therapy trip. Because of this, I would laugh and say, "oh, you just want to spend money." Surprisingly, she would answer, "NO, I want to buy myself something that makes me feel good and gives me some love." Consequently, I understood the importance of gifting helpful things to myself. I didn't create irresponsible spending habits, but I have realized the importance of giving to myself as a form of self-love. Doing things like ordering takeout, buying myself some flowers, or investing in a hobby became important. Doing this made me realize how important my goals and dreams really were. If you feel like this is your love language, you can use it often to tap into your worth and remember how important you really are.
Find your self-love language
Finally, consider the numerous self-love languages and decide which one best describes you. You may find that only one may work for you or a combination of several. In conclusion, finding your love language will allow you to tailor your self-care regimen, thus providing ways to cope with the strain that lupus can place on your life.
Have you ever had to recover from surgery while living with lupus?