Valentine’s Day is often seen as a day to celebrate romantic love around the world, but it is also about celebrating the power of love and connection. Originally called Saint Valentine’s Day or the Feast of Saint Valentine, Valentine’s Day is celebrated annually on February 14 as part of the Christian feast day for Saint Valentine.
We know from research that feelings of love and connection improve longevity, health and quality of life. Now that we are finished with grade school’s secret Valentine cards and candy, what can we do to share the love and compassion we have for others?
Here are five suggestions:
- List Your Favorite People — Create a list of 2-3 people – or animals – you are grateful for and how those people add joy to your life. It isn’t always having a lot of people around you that creates that loving feeling. It is your quality relationships, the people you can always count on, that truly make a difference.
- Show Gratitude — On Valentine’s Day, think of ways to show your love to others, even strangers. Try counting how many times you can pay someone a compliment throughout the day, or offer a treat just because. Or call family members and tell them why you love them.
- Don’t Forget to Love Yourself — Look in the mirror and give yourself 2-3 compliments. It can be hard to be kind to yourself, but it is an important part of wellness.
- Spread the Love — The energy of love and kindness can really make a difference. Try singing, “You are my Sunshine,” down the hallway, or bring treats to your neighbors. Singing, exercise and feelings of optimism have been shown to improve immune systems, sleep and overall health.
- Ask Someone for Something you Need — Learning to give and to receive is the gift of a deeper relationship. Mutual trust can improve your health and lower levels of stress and depression.