Valentine’s Day is seemingly targeted to couples and romance, but it celebrates love of any kind and for anyone. That includes family members, friends, colleagues, strangers, pets – even yourself! And showing love is not limited to just Feb. 14.
Traditional Valentine’s Day gifts include cards, flowers and chocolates, but everyday acts of kindness are truly the sincerest way to show love. Here are a variety of ideas:
Love is Quality Time
Love is quality time – especially for the elderly – which can include regular visits or phone calls, although surprise visits are extra special. Give them your full attention, without interruption. Share hugs, hold hands, perhaps offer a back massage. Share happy stories, memories, and compliments. Tell them how much they are appreciated.
Love is a Helping Hand
Cook a meal or take out the garbage for someone who is sick or facing a challenge. Offer to babysit for parents of young children who need a night off, or maybe just a long nap. Love is helping anyone who needs an extra hand or is struggling to carry something heavy.
Love is for Strangers
Bring your garden’s fresh produce to a food pantry, or garden flowers to a nursing home. If you must spend time in a same-day surgery waiting room, bring treats to share with others. And definitely bring cookies to new neighbors so they are no longer strangers!
Love is a Simple Gesture
Send a greeting card or a handwritten letter – just because. Make a cup of coffee or tea for a busy office colleague. Share recipes. Bring books and magazines to a lonely neighbor. Put some money into a parking meter about to expire. Spread compliments freely. Overtip the breakfast waitress. Spread birdseed on top of the snow.
Love is Basic Kindness
Say please. Say thank you. Say you’re sorry when you are wrong. Hold open a door or hold the elevator. Give a thumbs-up to the driver who let you move into the lane. Bring a found item to a lost-and-found. Help someone who is lost.
Love is a Good Deed
Donate blood. Bring old towels and blankets to an animal shelter. Organize a coat/hat/socks collection during the winter months for a homeless shelter. Put a dollar or two inside the pocket of clothing you plan to donate.
Valentine’s Day can be difficult if you are alone. Turn it around and treat yourself to a manicure, a spa day, and/or a special meal with friends who may also be alone. Buy yourself flowers and candy. And do the same anytime you feel lonely.
Love is Remembering Heartbreak
If you have a relative or friend who has recently lost a loved one or broken off a relationship, make an extra effort to make their Valentine’s Day special, or at least distract them with a fun activity together.