The FIVE languages of Self Care

Languages of Love

The famous theory on the five languages of love (Gary Chapman 1992) is that, depending on our experiences and personality, we place a different value on the types of ‘languages’ that make us feel loved by a partner.

The five ways of showing love are: spending quality time together, giving practical help, physical touch, giving gifts and words of love and affirmation.

It is useful for working out what is going on in relationships as people tend to offer love in the same way as they wish to experience it and this can lead to misunderstandings if they are speaking a different ‘language’. Thus, interpreting the values placed on each aspect by each partner can improve communication and connection.

Languages of Self Care

I have started wondering if self care is similar. All elements are needed but some people have more interest in one area and derive more benefit from that area. That activity that particularly ‘speaks to them’ to make them feel cared for, looked after and happy.

For example, my theory is that Jo Wicks’ language of self care might be exercise and Andy Puddicombe’s (co-founder of the headspace app) might be meditation. My propensity is towards skincare – my favourite self care activity is to use lovely products and pampering treatments (but I do still feel better if I exercise, eat healthily, sleep well, meditate and relax).

This is what I think are the big FIVE self care languages:

1) Exercise and Physical Fitness
Exercise has been a massive help to many of us during lockdown. Apart from being great for physical health – which is super important- it has an immediate effect of releasing feel-good endorphins and chemicals.

2) Nutrition / Eating Well
Drinking enough water to stay hydrated and eating well makes a difference to how we feel. We need to make sure that we aren’t deficient in important vitamins – such as vitamin D and the B vitamins. Energy is lower when we eat junk food and it causes health problems and obesity.

Our relationship with alcohol also needs examining at the moment as drinking at home during lockdown may have led to larger measures and later curfews.

3) Sleep Hygiene
Getting enough sleep and going through full sleep cycles (to get the benefit of the different types of sleep) is a basic need that we don’t always get.

Keeping a regular bedtime and getting the hours in before midnight may have slipped without the need to get up for work or school in the mornings. The temptation to watch Netflix or look on the internet late into the night may have seduced us.

Having a lovely comfortable bed and bedding can add to the experience of great sleep. I love bamboo sheets for a soft and luxurious experience.

4) Meditation and Relaxation
Actively training the brain to enter good pathways of thought and relaxation can help us to be happier and to feel more in control. 

Making time to get ‘headspace’ and meditate is a new experience for many of us.

For each of us relaxation may take different forms – music, art and nature can be therapy. Did you know about  Japanese ‘Forest bathing’? – I read about this form of ‘ecotherapy’ on the Hever Castle website (when I was checking out my exciting feature in the same Hever Castle news blog  )

5) and …. SKIN CARE
Skin is a huge body organ that is visible to us and in contact with the world surrounding us. Having a comfortable, healthy skin can literally make us feel ‘happy in our skin’.

If you have a skin problem, a dermatologist is the best person to help. However, even if there is no actual problem we could all do with some skin self care.

Cleansing, exfoliation, skin nutrition and sun protection are the my main pillars of skin care  and, since I have been using Image skincare products, I have felt smoother, more hydrated and generally more comfortable in my skin.

As the weather changes, the central heating will come on and that can be drying for the skin so additional hydration is vital. Cocoon yourself in moisture all over with Vital C hydrating hand and body cream. It contains ultra moisturising hyaluronic acid, shea butter and nutrient rich oils as well as anti-aging collagen stimulated plant complex and potent vitamin C antioxidants. Elevate your senses with the fantastic citrus aroma.

For a really effective spa facial experience at home I recommend using two of the Image masques (that are used in the professional facial treatments) in succession: firstly the Ageless total resurfacing masque to offer a deep cleansing exfoliation with a luxurious soothing feel and refreshing spa scent and secondly the Vital C hydrating enzyme masque to remove dull dry skin and hydrate with nourishing vitamins A, C and E providing hydration for hours after application.

Another great tip is to use an overnight masque  – this is both easy, convenient and super effective due to length of time on the skin. Vital C overnight hydrating masque  contains hematite and malachite to provide mineral radiance for stressed skin. It also contains an active triple mineral complex of zinc, magnesium and copper to energises the skin for a revitalised look. The gel texture locks in moisture and antioxidants for a deep quenching skin experience . Simply apply to the face and cuddle up in a clean soft bed, dream away the night and wake up with visibly refreshed hydrated skin.

and FINALLY …

Finding your Tribe – the Self Care Buddies speaking the same ‘language’
Self care is treating ourselves well –  like being our own best friend BUT, if lockdown has taught us anything, it’s shown us that we do really need each other.

Self care activities do also bring people together with enthusiasm about what makes them feel at their best. It feels so good to talk about them, share tips and to encourage each other.

Instagram oneill_aesthetics_clinic is a new discovery to me and I’ve been excitedly finding like-minded people with whom to share experiences and tips  – please do follow me and join the club.

We do have to social distance but why not arrange to put on a face masque at the same time as a friend and have a video call? Helping and encouraging each other makes self care even better. The best medicine of all is to truly laugh with a friend!

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