Valentine’s Day is about love. For the greeting card and floral industries, the holiday is marketed to those in love. Yet, we would do ourselves and others a favor if we expanded Valentine’s Day and made it about showing and sharing love for those around us. Let’s do exactly that. Are you with me?
We can learn something from kids
As a kid, I remember the excitement around Valentine’s Day at school. My classmates and I carefully constructed and decorated boxes where valentines would be placed. A party took place with heart-shaped cookies and we gave everyone in the class a valentine – it was an inclusive celebration. I am not sure where or why the broad inclusiveness of this holiday became derailed, but I vote for spreading more love in our world. This should start with each one of us doing our part right now.
Broaden your definition of the day
If you find yourself on this Valentine’s Day without a significant other, paramour, spouse, boyfriend, girlfriend, love interest or crush, open your mind and heart to demonstrating care for yourself and others. Here are a few suggestions for how:
- Invite some friends over for wine, cupcakes, a movie marathon or whatever sounds like a chance for connection. Hands down – friends make life better.
- Unplug from your devices and social media. Use the time you usually spend plugged in to get outside, take a walk, hike or ride a bike.
- Offer to babysit for your nieces and nephews or a couple who never has a chance to go out without kids.
- Call a friend or family member you haven’t talked to in a while. Yes, an actual voice call. You don’t need to talk very long but the fact that you made the effort to call and talk rather than text or email will make the receiver feel special.
- Make a self-care appointment for yourself like a massage, personal training session or pedicure.
- Prepare a special dinner for your parents, kids or close friends.
- Catch up on your sleep. Sleep in, take a nap or hit the hay early. Better yet, do all three.
- Buy flowers for yourself.
- Buy flowers for an elderly neighbor or a friend who may be struggling in life. Give the flowers anonymously or with a thoughtful note.
- Hang out with your grandparents. The reciprocal benefit is huge. They love you and will enjoy your company.
Valentine’s Day is about love
As you think about this holiday, remember that it is about love. You have many people in your life who love you. Don’t focus on the people who do not love you. Instead, celebrate the broader definition of love and share more of it.