When February rolls around each year, the candy hearts, cards, and gift advertisements can’t help but be noticed (they are jumping out of every store corner, radio station, web search, and channel after all). Those in relationships often make plans or reject the social convention of Valentine’s Day altogether, while those who are not partnered or in a romantic relationship make singles plans, or worse yet, ponder their un-partnered existence.
At Wholehearted Hub, we have been thinking about February and Valentine’s Day in a different way. What if instead of reserving this holiday for romantic partners, we honored love in general, in its many different facets and forms?
Wholehearted Love Thought #1
What’s a gift you might give YOURSELF for Valentine’s Day?
Do you long for a 20-minute nap, a bite or two of dark chocolate, or a gorgeous bouquet of flowers? Sister, you deserve all of that! Instead of waiting and wishing, treat yourself to a small gift, just as you might treat a friend or lover. Of course we all love to be shown love and affection, but it is also just as important to show up for ourselves as well. Make a plan to treat yourself in some way on February 14th.
Wholehearted Love Thought #2
Give the gift of time or words of affirmation.
Who in your life would love to receive a “Thinking of You” card, a phone call, or even a quick visit? Is there a person or group in your community that you could volunteer for or acknowledge? These days, the world needs more love than ever. Send a card of appreciation to a teacher, a nurse, a barista, your neighbor, your veterinarian; anyone who works hard at caring for others and sharing love with the world.
Wholehearted Love Thought #3
Share an experience with someone you care about.
While the history of Valentine’s day might be centered around couples, the reality of the holiday today doesn’t have to be. Take a parent or friend out to lunch, send funny cards or texts to your friends, or meet at someone’s house for a movie night. Focusing on quality time and experiences with our loved ones can remind us that there are many kinds of love in the world.
Wholehearted Love Thought #4
Make Valentine’s Day a family activity.
Draw for “Secret Valentines” in your family, choose a person or group to surprise, or make a “Love List” of everyone and everything you and your family care about. Feeling crafty? Hit up Pinterest for fun Valentine-themed crafts and activities. No excited kids in the house? Keep in mind, age is just a number! Don’t forget to include the oldest members of the family, too. A grown-up crafter-noon party can be just as fun as a kid’s event.
Wholehearted Love Thought #5
Love At Large
There are few better ways to brighten spirits than to share a random act of kindness with the world. Pay an extra $5.00 or $10.00 on the coffee order behind you, take a cart back into a store, take the time to give a positive comment, compliment, or review to someone or their superior, donate gently used clothes or toys to an organization in need, buy a gift card to a local business and then ask that business owner to surprise a lucky customer that day, do a secret act of kindness for a friend, neighbor, or even a stranger. There are a multitude of ways to invite love into our lives, but possibly the best way to get it started, is to share it first.
The Wholehearted Hub Team