Holidays and the Love Languages
With the holidays around the corner, we’re likely to have more opportunities to spend with family, loved ones, colleagues, and friends. This reminds me of the value of connection and of showing your fondness and admiration for others in different ways.
The five love languages describes 5 different preferences or “languages” that express appreciation and meaning. This has been adapted from romantic relationships to include all the other people you might interact with including family, friends, and coworkers. Here are some ways you can bring the love languages into the holiday season.
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Words of Affirmation
If words of affirmation are most meaningful to you, or you notice that someone is always giving compliments and encouragement, try out these meaningful ways to connect.
- Express your gratitude with a heartfelt acknowledgment
- Shower someone with compliments- the more authentic and deep, the better
- Provide emotional/social support to help someone feel empowered and validated
- Supporting someone to set boundaries and be assertive can be affirming because it can encourage the confidence they need during a stressful time
An abundance of free time could be hard to find, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have quality time even if it’s short.
- Plan a meaningful activity like upholding a tradition, starting a new tradition, or having a special outing
- Have a conversation without distractions like television or phones
- Have a tech-free meal & tech-free seasonal activities
Physical touch might be tricky as people have their own preferences about closeness during the pandemic, and that’s okay! We can be accepting of all comfort levels.
- Embrace! If you feel safe, hug, or give pat on back, fist bump, or elbow tap
- Gift the gift of professional massage where it’s customary to keep masks on
- Book a reflexology appointment
- Offer to rub your partner’s feet or back at the end of the day
Acts of Service
This season can feel like a part-time job with additional preparations and activities. Here are some acts of service you can offer during the holidays.
- Take over some responsibilities and decision making around the holidays
- Help out with meal preparation and cooking
- Take out the garbage and recycling
- Set the table and clear it afterwards
- Offer to do the most tedious/hardest aspect of the holiday tradition, even if you aren’t hosting
The spirit of giving can be fun, exciting, and totally stressful, it shouldn't also break the bank!
- Make a handmade item/token
- Write a meaningful note in a card
- Create or purchase a personalized gift such as pictures of favourite places or a photo book of memories
These examples of using the love languages over the holidays should be a good starting point to get thinking about how to share your affection and appreciation with others as the year wraps up. There’s nothing wrong with doubling or tripling up on the love languages either! Your sincere intentions will make those around you feel connected.
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