Valentine’s Day – a mark on the social calendar that really divides the masses! Some revel in an opportunity to give or receive gifts from their significant other, while others actively oppose the idea, criticising it as a shallow and commercialised holiday. Others think it’s disingenuous to engage in robust acts of love on this day over any other day. While I acknowledge opposing views on the matter, I see a common ground.
I understand that Valentine’s Day has become synonymous with chocolates, flowers and grand romantic gestures – but why let Hallmark define the nature of Valentine’s Day? When we strip it back, Valentine’s Day is a day of celebrating love, and that is a wonderful sentiment. While it’s undeniable that we should express love to those around us (not just romantic love, but love in all its wonderful shapes, forms and relationships) on a daily basis, if we are honest with ourselves, it often becomes too easy to take our loved ones for granted. So a nominated day to stop and remember to show appreciation to the people who make a positive impact on our lives is a wonderful thing.
So let’s shed the heart-shaped candy-covered Valentine’s Day presented to us by the masses, and try to embrace the true spirit of what could truly be a special day.
Pay it forward
Everyone’s seen the movie, right? Well the idea behind paying it forward is doing a good deed for three people, and having them do something nice for three people, and those three people doing good et cetera. Why not pay for the coffee for the person behind you? Or offer your time to someone who needs it? There are many ways to pay it forward, you just have to be creative!
Don't complain or criticise for one whole day
“I’m so tired.” “My feet hurt from standing all day.” “My hubby/wife/boyfriend/sister/neighbour did THIS again!” “I look terrible in these jeans.” Chances are you say one of these, or something like it, every single day and probably without realising. Everyone complains. It’s normal. But imagine spending the whole day without making a single complaining or criticising of yourself or someone else? “I’m so tired” turns into “I can’t wait to have a good rest tonight” and “I look terrible in these jeans” becomes “Maybe I need new jeans, but I’m rocking this top!” They’re small changes but a positive outlook on even the tiniest of things can dramatically change your day.
Verbalise the things you love about the special people in your life
Whether it be your mum, brother, pet fish or the postman, if someone means something to you, then let them know. Feeling loved and being appreciated is possibly one of the best feelings in the world, so get texting/calling and telling the special people in your life how important they are to you.
Give a stranger a compliment
If you’ve ever received a compliment from a stranger, you’ll know how oddly satisfying it is. Whether it’s a superficial passing comment like “I love your hair colour!” or a tweet to your favourite humanitarian telling them how much you appreciate the work they’re doing, receiving a compliment is an easy and lovely way to brighten someone’s day. You never know what that person is going through and a few kind words could do a world of good for them.
Volunteer your time
Volunteering your time is a great way to show some love. Spending some time at the RSPCA or local homeless shelter is selfless, but it also shows compassion, something this world could do with more of.
Feeling the love?
- Visit the Inspired Adventures Calendar and spread the love to a charity and cause you’re passionate about!
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