As Valentine’s Day approaches, many of us begin to feel anxious in a variety of ways. It may be trying to decide what to get our significant other or trying to make plans with friends. Whatever your relationship status is, it is important to remember the actual meaning of the holiday which is the celebration of love. How you decide to celebrate love is entirely up to your interpretation. Sometimes this holiday can make people feel lonely, but it is important to take note of the love from family and friends who surround you, as well as the love from yourself. It is also important to realize that although Valentine’s Day is just one day of the year, love should be given to yourself and those close to you year-round. Here are some ideas of ways to feel and share the love to yourself and others throughout the entire year.
1. Write a letter to someone you love and tell them why you love them. This could be your mom, your sister, your grandma, your best friend or anyone else that you love! People love feeling appreciated and the act of giving the letter to them will also make you feel happy to know that you have made someone’s day.
2. Volunteer with your favorite organization. As mentioned previously, doing good things makes you feel good. It is scientifically proven that people who participate in meaningful activities report feeling happier and with more purpose in their life. What better way to spend the day making yourself happy by doing good for others?
3. Take the day for yourself. We live in a world that is all about being on the go and productive. For this reason, many people feel guilty about lounging the day away in their pajamas. While this wouldn’t be healthy to do every day, sometimes it is important to give yourself permission to relax. Even if it is just for an hour, treat yourself to a bubble bath, a cup of tea and a book, or whatever makes you feel most relaxed.
4. Make a friend date. Make a date with a friend doing an activity that you both enjoy. Many of us are constantly connected to friends on social media or through texting, but it is important to take time for one-on-one connection. Put your phones away, go on a walk together or out to coffee, and see how refreshed you feel.
5. Make a list of characteristics you love about yourself. This is an activity we did during Strong Girls that I truly believe anyone would benefit from. Each girl cut out a tracing of her hand on construction paper and glued it onto another piece of paper. Then she wrote all the characteristics she loves about herself on the hand. Then, whenever someone is feeling down she can high five her hand and remember all the reasons she loves herself. Even if you do not do the hand activity, writing down positive characteristics you like about yourself feels just as good!
These are a few of the many ways to show love to yourself and those around you. These ideas can be done on Valentine’s Day or on any day of the year! There is a quote by Barbara De Angelis that says, “Love and kindness are never wasted. They bless the one who receives them, and they bless you, the giver.” While receiving love feels good so does giving it! Feel good by telling those around you why they matter to you, and make sure you know why you matter too!
By Jenna Blumenthal