No Valentine? No Problem: 9 Ways To Spread Love This V-Day
Valentine’s Day is recognized around the world as the day of love. You’ve probably noticed the giant bears. pink and red themed gift items and candy when you enter the supermarket. For many. this elicits warm and fuzzy feelings, but for others, it may just elicit an enormous eye roll. Instead of looking at February 14 as another ridiculous consumer holiday or a reminder that you’re single, look at it as an excuse to spread some love to others. These activities and small gestures will definitely fill you up and add some joy to someone’s life.
Make a Valentine’s Day playlist to Share
I know what you’re thinking, but when I say “playlist,” I don’t mean grooves to set the mood. Pick upbeat happy songs that make you feel good. Playlists are a great way to share energy. Music has been proven to affect mood and productivity. So pull together all of your favorite bops and share the product with your friends and co-workers or a special someone to make them feel thought about without feeling any pressure to reciprocate.
Pen a Love Note or Two
I’m personally a fan of hand-written notes and declarations of love. Love extends beyond romantic relationships. Don’t forget about your siblings, parents, dear friends, or even strangers who may need to read a reminder, kind thought, or sentimental sentence to brighten their day. Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex, and wife to Prince Harry, was recently cited for writing encouraging messages to sex workers in England. In coordination with a charity, she wrote notes like “You are strong” and “You are loved.” You don’t have to write a novel to make an impact.
Not everyone can donate money to their favorite cause, but don’t forget that you can donate your time. Whether you’re an animal lover, art enthusiast, or you enjoy playing Scrabble with people three times your age, there’s a place for that. There are so many different ways you can volunteer. The elderly, who are sometimes neglected and forgotten about, love to have company. They are great conversationalists and I often find that I take away so much from just listening. Animal shelters have hundreds of animals that would love to play and snuggle with you and really just listen to you talk if you have some things you need to get off your chest. There’s also nothing like having the earth between your fingers. Plant a seed or two. Community gardens are always looking for volunteers. These sort of initiatives often support communities and provide access to fresh produce.
Tell Someone You Love Them
If letter writing isn’t your thing call, reach out to someone you love. Make it a point to speak to someone and say the words “I love you.” Spend two hours on the phone laughing with your best friend. Tell your mom about that coworker who keeps stealing your lunch and let her vent about the next church event. Be present and make the effort.
Clean Out Your Closet
I hate junk but will definitely hold on to clothing even when I know I probably won’t wear it again. This V-Day, let go of a few things that are taking up space. High school-aged girls and boys are constantly in need of clothes. Schools and churches in your community are great places to donate used clothing. You may be able to identify someone you could personally donate your items to.
Pass Out Valentines
Take it back to elementary school where everyone picked out cartoon-themed valentines or design your own. Markers and colored paper don’t cost much. The dollar store also has a variety of options. Make a valentine for everyone on your team. Take it a step further and think about the people who you see frequently and engage with, like the women who work in the café downstairs or the doorman. Everyone deserves a little love. Try to think outside of the box and include people who get lost in the background. Another fool-proof way to be inclusive would be to make as many valentines as you can and pass them out to whomever you come across.
Self-love shouldn’t be minimized. How we feel about ourselves directly translates into how we treat others. I honestly believe if more people poured love into themselves, (a bit more of) the world would be a much better place. So, this Valentine’s Day, spend some time loving on yourself. Enjoy your favorite food or wine. Read that book you haven’t had a chance to start. Binge-watch your favorite show. You won’t regret it.
Bake Cookies for a Cause
Teachers are usually always overworked and under-supported, so something as simple as making baked goods for the teachers at your child’s school is an act of love. Firefighters and nurses save lives every day. Hospitals and fire stations would definitely appreciate your gratitude. You never know, you may meet your #firefighterbae.
Random Acts of Kindness
You’ve heard of people paying for someone’s order in the drive-thru lane. It’s happened to me. At the time, I couldn’t pay it forward, but the thoughtful act led me to tears. You never know what someone else may be battling with. So if you can, get coffee for your boss or co-worker, or offer to babysit so a friend or loved one can have a special night out with their spouse. Being considerate, selfless, and kind are acts of love. Some believe that what you put out is what you get back. But what if it isn’t? Try not to incentivize giving. Try to just give and watch how it brightens your life. Not only does it inspire more giving, but it fills you up as well.