Valentine’s Day can bring a lot of mixed emotions to the forefront. Some people love and embrace the holiday while others ask themselves why we need a specific day to declare our love for someone. For many it’s a bitter reminder that they don’t have that special someone in their lives. In elementary school the philosophy around the day was a little different and we were taught to send Valentine’s Day cards to everyone. We spent hours writing out sweet messages on the cards we had personally selected. As I got older and went to high school you could buy a rose to send to your significant other, or if you wanted to be mysterious you could send it as a secret admirer. Though a thoughtful idea, it was a heart-breaking experience when you received nothing at the end of the day.
Personally I’ve always had this conflicting emotion when it comes to Valentine’s Day, wondering if I should even celebrate the commercialized holiday at all. Lately though I’ve become determined to find ways to express love regardless of romantic status. It’s no secret Valentine’s Day can bring unwanted pressure and loneliness but what if we turned that hurt around? What if we went back to our elementary school roots spreading as much love as possible? There are so many great ways to show kindness and though an excuse isn’t necessary, what better day than Valentine’s?
One of my favorite things to do is to sit down and type up some sweet text messages to send out to friends. I take the time to acknowledge something I love about them, I tell them what they mean to me. There is something special and uplifting about randomly receiving a little note reminding you of your best qualities. Connecting with others can be a wonderful experience, so take the time to strengthen those bonds that are most important to you.
Growing up in the floral industry, I’m no stranger to sending flowers on Valentine’s Day and I have watched hundreds of orders go out to people’s loved ones each and every year. Traditionally flowers are sent to a romantic partner, but that doesn’t have to be the case. Consider sending some to a good friend who has really been there for you, or someone who could use a little cheering up. Even send them to your mom or dad or an elderly neighbor who may be feeling particularly lonely at this time of year. Flowers have the ability to completely brighten someone’s day and make them feel incredibly loved. The power of giving is truly one of the best gifts.
Get creative with your loving acts of kindness and invite a group of friends over to just dance the night away. Decorate your place with everything pink, make a killer playlist of upbeat eighties music (or whatever floats your boat) and just have fun! Donate to a charity you’re passionate about, there are so many wonderful causes out there that could always use some extra love. Or while standing in line at your local coffee shop, offer to buy the person behind you their coffee. Lead by example- we’ve all heard of paying it forward, why not on Valentine’s Day?
Lastly, never forget the importance of loving yourself. Do something for YOU this Valentine’s Day. Go for a peaceful walk, schedule a trip to the spa, treat yourself to something you’ve been pining for, or write yourself your own Valentine’s Day card. If we can’t truly love ourselves, how can we truly love others? Taking care of ourselves not only brings us joy but it allows us to radiate love to everyone around us.
Let’s use this Valentine’s Day to open our hearts and spread compassion to as many people as possible including ourselves. This doesn’t have to be a day only for the lucky in love. Be in love with life. Love doesn’t have to be exclusive, let’s be kind, generous and giving, delivering affection wherever we go.
So to all of you out there… be mine?
Jessica Hallett is a writer, dog lover extraordinaire, yogi, and adventurous hiker. She believes digging deep within ourselves is one of the most rewarding journeys we can take. With a bachelor’s degree in Communication she cherishes mindful conversation that inspires self-growth and awareness.
Connect with me on Your Zen Life’s Community board: jh1987