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Valentine’s Day: What’s Love Got to Do With It?

 

Valentine’s Day:  What’s Love Got to Do with It?

By Angela S. Taylor MA, LPC-S

Valentine’s Day is upon us, and the mixed emotions that people experience range from pure happiness and joy to utter disappointment and sadness.  It’s a day that the world tells us should be filled with outward displays of love for our partners, and we should definitely be partnered up. Being single is supposedly unacceptable and deeply saddening.  Even if you’re in a partnership, it’s difficult to measure up to the expectations of the perfect night, perfect gift, and perfect show of affection.

But…what if we made this day just about love?  What if it was a day that we dedicated to loving ourselves better? What if it was a day that we told and showed our friends and family how much we love and appreciate them?  What if we used the day to love on our community and our world? Now, that’s something maybe we can all get on board with.

Here are some fresh ideas on how to spend your Valentine’s Day:

  1.        Focus on self love and do some good self care today.  

-Take a bubble bath, get a massage, read that book you’ve been wanting to read, take a yoga class, etc.  Do things today that nurture your soul and help you remember you deserve to be taken care of by you (and maybe make a commitment to integrating this into your everyday life).

  1.       Celebrate your friendships!

-Let your friends know how special they are to you, and schedule time with them.  Go to dinner, do a potluck at someone’s house, grab a coffee, etc. Set aside your phone and truly focus on good conversation and connecting with the important people in your life.  And don’t forget to reach out and call those that live far away – a quick call or text can be truly meaningful and let someone know how much you really value having them in your life.

  1.       Love on your family.  

-We often forget to tell our parents, grandparents, siblings, aunts, uncles, nieces, and nephews how much they add to our lives and how grateful we are for them.  This is a great time to take the opportunity to do this. Dig into old memories and maybe share with them one of the times that made you smile or a day they lifted your spirits when you needed them.  Share some laughs from growing up or simply just remind them that they matter in your life.

  1.       Community service.  

-Have you been thinking about finding a place to give back?  Today is a great time to look into what opportunities are around you and where you feel the most need.  Do you have a special skill you can offer or a population you feel passionate about right now? There are always places and events that need you, and this is a good time to get the process started.

 

These are just a few of the different ways you can celebrate Valentine’s Day whether you’re in a partnership or not.  When we lean into gratitude over the people in our lives, express love, and give back with kindness, it’s hard to not be filled with joy.  So make this Valentine’s Day your own. Don’t be swayed by what society tells you that you should be or should be doing and experiencing. You get to design your day (and your life) to fill you up with the love and joy you deserve!

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