It’s important for you to make sure that your essential needs are taken care of, especially during times of change, upheaval, or abnormally high stress. We’ve all heard someone say, “If you can’t take care of yourself, how can you expect to take care of anyone else?” Of course this doesn’t apply to everyone, but the point is generally received loud and clear. If you’ve followed us all month, you’ll remember that April has been a month of articles about change, dealing with change, and helping your team to do the same, especially when everyone is working toward a goal or solving a problem. To be at your best and stay there, here are a few things you can do (and even have your team do for themselves) to maintain your calm and sanity during uncertain times.
Caring for yourself, especially during times of uncertainty, can make a world of difference in your experience with whatever is happening. It may start out seeming horrible or like an insurmountable problem, but you’ll be much better at solving problems with a clear, sharp mind, well-rested body, and harmonious spirit. Here are several categories of self-care based on the different love languages so that you can determine which methods of self-care are best for you.
If you’re unsure about what love languages best fit you or you’ve never heard of the term, this quick definition should give you a general idea about what your needs are.
Love Languages for Self-Care
The five love languages, as presented in the book of the same title by Gary Chapman, are:
Words of Affirmation – If you feel loved when someone offers words of encouragement.
Acts of Service – If you feel loved when someone does something for you.
Receiving Gifts – If you feel loved when someone gives you a gift.
Quality Time – If you feel loved when someone spends quality time with you.
Physical Touch – If you feel loved when someone hugs, cuddles, or kisses you.
Which love languages work best to make you feel loved? What applies for other people can also apply for yourself, so love yourself in the ways that you need most.
#1. If you’re someone who likes to hear encouraging words, record yourself speaking or simply meditate with music and say an affirmation to yourself like a mantra. The most effective way to do this is to think about what you need the most at that moment and frame it in a positive way. If you’re feeling lonely, you might think an affirmation like, “I feel loved, connected, and complete.”
#2. If you’re someone who feels loved when other people do things for you, you might consider doing something for yourself. Treat yourself to a massage or spa day; something that will help ease your stress and balance your body is best during stressful times, so I recommend avoiding things like alcohol, sugary treats, and so on. Do something for yourself that makes you feel good. A massage is perfect because someone else is giving you the massage… this would also count for the physical touch love language.
#3. If you’re someone who enjoys receiving gifts, go buy something that you want or have wanted for a while but never had a justification for getting. Within reason, of course! Whether that’s a new purse, outfit, or yacht is dependent on your finances, so remain responsible ;). For some of us, the tiniest things can make us happy, so ask yourself: what gift would make me happy right now?
#4. If you feel loved when spending quality time with someone, then maybe it’s time to spend a little quality time with yourself. The beautiful thing about this is that the possibilities are endless; if you have someone you miss spending time with, spend time with that person. However, if no other person comes to mind, you can do something that makes you happy while you’re doing it. For some that might be a hobby like writing, composing music, or photography; for others it might mean going back to martial arts or dance classes. It doesn’t matter what you do, but if there’s something you can do just for yourself, you will feel more peaceful and better equipped to handle any problems that arise.
#5. If you feel loved through physical touch, you can easily seek out close friends and family members for hugs, bond with your pet for a while, or (as mentioned) go get a massage. In some cities there are people who offer cuddling services, so if that’s something you’re comfortable with, you may want to look into it.
No matter what your love language is, self-love tends to follow along the same lines, so figure out a couple of things that you can do regularly if you find yourself feeling off. The more of your love languages an activity covers, the less time you need to devote to meeting your personal needs. However, not meeting your personal needs can be a very negative and painful experience, so find ways to take care of you so that you’re at your best.
What are your love languages? Has learning about them made it easier for you to care for yourself in an all-encompassing and balanced way? Leave a comment or drop us a line about your stories! We love to read them.
For more information on the Mindfulness Movement and mindful leadership, please visit:
Need some help with your mindfulness practice? The Mindful Moments can certainly help!