My husband and I have been a couple for about 20 years now, so we’ve had quite a few Valentine’s Days. Truth be told, with my husband’s birthday being in mid-December, then Christmas, and then my birthday in January (now our daughter’s birthday too), by the time we get to Valentine’s Day, we are normally all “gifted” out, haha. I like to think about Valentine’s Day not as a day to go out and buy a bunch of chocolate (but I’ll eat them if given to me, haha) or teddy bears and balloons, but a day to send genuine tokens of love or kindness. If you haven’t talked to a friend in awhile, give them a call. If you haven’t told a parent or sibling you love them, say it. We often hear the phrase, “Give people their flowers while they are alive”, well Valentine’s Day is a perfect day to do just that. It’s worth saying that we also need to make sure we give ourselves those flowers too. Tokens of love don’t need to be wrapped up in a bunch of romance either. It’s about a simple act of kindness and compassion. Valentine’s Day can be as much about showing yourself love as it is to a partner or friend.
Here are some fun Valentine’s Day acts of kindness that I’ve done or received in the past that warmed my heart and might do the same for you:
- I remember when I first moved to NYC, my mom would send me little Valentine’s Day cards and gifts. She knew I had a partner, but it was nice to get a little something sweet from my mom especially during such a transformative time in my life. I’d graduated college, left home, and moved to a big city so receiving those little packages was heart-warming.
- Buying flowers “just because” is a great way to show kindness to ourselves and others. In these winter months when you might be inside your home more often than normal, it’s great to wake up to see fresh flowers. I love to have flowers out in my kitchen so I can see them every morning. Keeping fresh flowers on my nightstand too makes me smile when I see them.
- A couple years ago when my son reached elementary school, I got excited about the idea of him taking valentines to his class. It became a fun arts and craft project. There is something about seeing the joy in a kid’s eyes when they perform their own simple act of kindness. My daughter is new to elementary school this year and she was so excited to take her valentines to school this morning to share with her friends. She didn’t say anything about receiving valentines – she was so excited to give her classmates valentines.
- Some of the best and most memorable Valentine’s Days I’ve had involved me cooking. It’s a great excuse to test out a new recipe for yourself, a partner, or friends. Get out the extra pots and fancy ingredients, haha. If you’re into baking – bake – and while you’re at it, share some of your creations with a neighbor or co-worker.
Random acts of kindness have a domino effect and generate positive energy within ourselves as well as those receiving them. There is scientific evidence that seeing random acts of kindness releases oxytocin which is a hormone associated with “empathy, trust, and pleasure”.
There have been plenty of songs, movies, and sayings about the power of love. I believe that love is a very strong energy and one that the world can benefit from having more of these days. So today, regardless if you’re a “Valentine’s Day person” or not, try just embracing the power of love. Share those small tokens of love through random acts of kindness – not only for those around you but for yourself as well. Remember that “self love” is also a part of “self care”!
Happy Valentine’s Day!