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Self care is a form of love.

February 27, 2024

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Let’s talk love. February is often the love month and while I probably just lost half of you to the conversation, I want to challenge you and I to think beyond the stereotypical version of love. 

Because love is more than the commonly understood version of romantic love, like the kind we see in rom coms. Love, as we know, can span across friendships and familial relationships, and even for self. 

So while you may or may not have experienced a month of love from others, I wonder what love for self has looked like for you. 

Self love vs. love for others

I’m not saying you and I don’t need other people in our lives to communicate love to us. I think we do. Life is meant to be lived alongside one another. Loneliness isn’t seen as a positive, it’s often a negative.

However, I do think we need to be better at understanding our own experiences of love. How we feel loved, how we receive love and how we give love. And thereby figuring out ways to communicate that love for the ones we do life alongside and for ourselves. 

Just as much as I desire to love and care for others, it is also valuable and important for us to communicate love to ourselves. We sometimes call this self-care. Care for self is a form of loving oneself.

So how do we do this.

The 5 Love Languages

Well, the traditional avenue of thinking of love and how one receives and gives love are called the five love languages. It may not be the best way of categorizing all ways of love, but is a pretty good system. 

The five categories are: 

  • Words of affirmation/encouragement
  • Acts of service
  • Quality time
  • Gifts
  • Physical touch

Usually people receive or experience love in one or two of these ways better than the others. Oftentimes the way you experience or receive love is also the way you might give love to others. Sometimes they’re different.

For example, I receive love through quality and words of encouragement. However, I love to give gifts to people and through words of encouragement. So while the love language of words of affirmation is the same for how I receive and give love, the gifts love language is different. 

Here are some examples of how someone might receive or give love in each of these categories:

  • Words of affirmation/encouragement: snail mail cards, voice notes or voicemails of encouragement, long texts with reminders of a friend’s worth and value
  • Acts of service: cooking a meal or baking baked goods, cleaning someone’s home, offering to pick up groceries and drop them off
  • Quality time: long talks over coffee without an agenda, playing a game together or going for a walk, phone calls
  • Gifts: gift cards to favorite restaurants or coffee shops, spa at home basket
  • Physical touch: gentle shoulder touch while sharing something hard, hugs 

What would you add to this list for how you either give or receive love in these areas?

What about self love?

When it comes to self, I think the same categories and how you receive/give love are the same. Except that you are both the giver and recipient. Here’s how that might look: 

  • Words of affirmation/encouragement: writing out three things you like about yourself each day or putting up post-it notes with reminders of your worth
  • Acts of service: dropping your laundry off to have it done or hiring a house cleaner for an hour
  • Quality time: giving yourself permission to go on a long walk alone 
  • Gifts: buying yourself the expensive coffee and pastry 
  • Physical touch (okay this one is arguably harder for self, but…): a weighted blanket or wrapping yourself up in a warm heavy blanket does help

So, how have you received and given love this past month? How might a better understanding of how you receive and give love help you care for yourself and others moving forward? 

Why does this matter?

As always, spending time reflecting on these questions and topics might feel silly or a waste of time. But I often think they challenge us to spend more time in seeing ourselves as human beings with needs and desires to be loved and to give love. Towards others and self.

Even more so, taking the time to consider how you and I receive love, just might be the most loving thing we can do for ourselves, who we are in our being, and who we are becoming and our stories. 

If you want more ways to keep checking in with yourself throughout the year, shop our 2024 Kindred Planner (now 60% off). With its monthly check-in pages and prompts, it’s the perfect paper companion to being intentional with who you are, who you are becoming and your story.

With joy & gratitude,


PS: In honor of love season coming to an end, we launched a new product of custom hand lettered name/place cards. Perfect for any event you are celebrating love at – a wedding, anniversary celebration, wedding shower, baby shower, etc. See them here or forward this post along to someone you know who might be looking for this special touch for their future guests.

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