It's that time of the year again. Probably, one of the most controversial days when you either read "10 reasons I love" or "10 reasons I hate Valentine's Day for" blog posts, tweets and Facebook updates. No matter what side of the barricade or camp you belong to, remember to be kind. February 15th will roll in very quickly but the hurt feelings and the echo of the bitter words, said the day before, could linger on for weeks, if not months. Whether you love it or hate it, whether you are in a happy relationship or you're happily single, I decided to put together 7 (exciting) ways you can show love to someone you think the world of. It doesn't matter if it's going to be on Tuesday or two weekends after. Be considerate, show compassion, spread love and read on to learn about a few more ways of how to do it.
Just the other day I saw this post on Facebook where a girl was asking for gift ideas for Valentine's Day. The comments section is often the place where all the action happens so reading through them was quite an experience. 90% of people declared they couldn't stand Valentine's Day or that they don't celebrate this "commercialized holiday" because they don't need to have one day a year to be able to tell and show someone how much they are loved. I agree - you can do it every day. Yet, I disagree that this day should be completely ignored because I see opportunities (keep on reading, you will know what I mean). One commentator and the author of the question herself, then, openly and publicly "slaughtered" those answers they personally didn't agree with, saying that only those who are: a) disappointing in life/love life; b) jealous and c) secretly wishing for attention on Valentine's Day, would get bitter and criticize this holiday. It left me feeling sad and actually became a reason why I wanted to share this post rather than a "gift guide". It's never too late and there's no such thing as "too much" when you want to spread love. I did leave a comment under that post as well. Encouraging everyone to stop arguing or act as if we belong to an "opposite camp". No matter what your personal life is like at the moment, there is something you can appreciate about Valentine's Day. OK, maybe not the heart-shaped chocolates, balloons or teddies. Use Valentine's Day as an excuse to say YET AGAIN how much someone means to you, whether it's your friend, your spouse, your auntie or a neighbour. Whenever you give love, it doesn't mean you have less of it left in your invisible "love tank". It actually has the opposite effect. The more you give, the more you get of it and the more you feel it. Here are 7 things you can do to show love to someone you care about.
Say it right, say it today 🎶
1. Say it in a card. Whether it's your significant other, your bestie or your grandmother, don't feel put off by the pressure of "having" to say 'I love you' on Valentine's Day. Treat the "day of love" it as one more chance to let your dear ones know how you feel about them. There's no need to get defensive about what YOU think of this "holiday". Simply because you don't "celebrate" it, there is no such thing as "too much of telling someone you love them". A little card written from the heart goes a long way. I mean, some people even sign cards addressed to their pets! To be honest, I've never met anyone who would reject a card. If all fails, just tell those who mean the world to you how much you care about them. Even if the relationship is on the rocks or you're too afraid to say it, being honest with yourself and the way you feel is the best policy. Write cards to those who are alone. Visit a children's hospital with cards and teddies. Pop into the old people's home with a hand-written message of love. Drop in a card into your neighbour's postbox just to let them know you're there for them in case they need anything. Yes, it's scary and you might think "it's weird" or "why should I even bother, they are always grumpy and they never talk to me". You never know what kind of battle people are fighting. Give a bit of your love away.
I'd go to the ends of the earth for you to make you feel my love 🎶
2. Show it through your actions. What you say usually (well, it kind of supposed to) shows how you feel. But then again, we all know that what you DO speaks so much louder. The best scenario is when both words and actions are in sync. "Actions" don't necessarily include having to get a present on Valentine's Day. It could be getting round to doing a favour that the person has been asking for many times. Or surprising them to something exciting or, better, something they've wanted to do/see/get/try. Show that you've been listening. That you care. If you are single, don't "write yourself off" or go selfish. Surprise a friend, who has moved to study abroad and finds it tough, with a little care package. Send flowers to someone who needs a little pick-me-up. Pick up a Primark PJ set for your bestie and organise a sleep over. Treat your significant other to an experience gift. Donate clothes, food and books to your local charities. The moment you start thinking about others, the options of manifesting love and kindness become endless.
Take a moment to love the one you are 🎶
3. It's pamper time. Technically, you don't have to wait for the Valentine's Day to come up in your calendar to treat your loved ones (and yourself!) to a pamper day/night/weekend. Thankfully, spas are open all year round. Booking a couples massage (not necessarily for Feb 14), a mani/pedi session with gals or a facial for yourself are just a few options. Personally, I also absolutely love the idea of relaxing at home and running a bath, especially if I can treat myself to a new ahhhmazing product such as Molton Brown Rosa Absolute Sumptuous Bathing Oil*. Molton Brown kindly sent me a few of their new Rosa Absolute goodies - and I am swooned. I have never tried a bathing oil before so I had no idea what to expect. The result was out of this world - my skin was super soft and silky and it did feel like I've just been to a spa. Brownie point: the blend of Italian rose oil, argan oil and a delicious concoction of blackcurrant, geranium and patchouli scents give off the most amazing aroma. Another incredible addition to that would be a Molton Brown Rosa Absolute Candle*. Don't be fooled by the name because there's much more to it than just a rose. It's a mindblowing mixture of blackcurrant, pink pepper and raspberry as top notes, rose, violet leaf and geranium as heart notes and patchouli, vanilla and labdanum as base notes. The moment you open the gorgeous packaging, the scent bursts out in this luxurious, deep and exhilarating aroma. I couldn't recommend it enough for creating that perfect romantic and relaxing atmosphere at home on Valentine's Day AND every day. Taking care of yourself is key because if you're in a good place, you're able to look after others.
In the car I just can't wait to pick you up on our very 1st date 🎶
4. Date night? Yes, when you think about having a date or going on a date, it usually has a romantic ring to it. It typically means going out with someone you're (potentially) interested in OR someone you're already head over heels for. Also, dates are amazing whether you've just met, are engaged or married. Dates rule! But there's no need to get bitter about all the date talk if you're not actually dating anyone right now. Put a positive spin on it and think outside the box. Ask your bestie to join you for a movies night out. Pop out into your favourite Italian place for a pizza at lunch break at work, even if it's by yourself. So much pizza and no one to share it with - no boohoos there, right? Get your gals together and order a Chinese takeaway and call it a "date". Think like Iris from The Holiday who acknowledged how much that poor old man Arthur needed company, and took him out on a "date". Showing someone you care by asking them to join you for food? Yes, please to that.
'Cause baby you're a firework 🎶
5. Your physical well-being matters. Everyone has no doubt that a Domino's night makes everything better. Combine it together with a romantic walk, ice-skating or some indoor snowboarding and you've got the winning combo. Valentine's Day or not, you've got to take care of yourself, stay active and help those you love to follow suit. If you're a couple, hit the gym together or pop those skates on and show off your pirouettes. If you're not in a couple, there's no need to shut yourself indoors with a tub of ice-cream or go angry on Twitter. Grab a buddy and hit the bouldering wall. Go for a long walk with someone you care about and who's been asking you to meet up because they needed your advice (but you never found time). Invest into your health and physical form no matter what day of the year it is. Don't worry, ice-cream will still be there. You will enjoy it when you're back home. Also, share it with someone. It tastes better that way ;)
Take me on a trip I'd love to go someday
Take me to New York, I'd love to see LA 🎶
6. Go out of town. Apart from the pamper night or a day at the spa, this is hands down the favourite of many. Every time hubby and I go somewhere, it's a 100% guarantee we will come back super relaxed and refreshed. It doesn't have to include a flight overseas. It can be a little trip out to another city for a walk and a dinner out. Driving a few miles out of your city can easily bring you into the quaint little village (especially if you're in the UK). It's so nice to cozy up in a perfectly Instagrammable coffee shop and enjoy that cuppa when it's bouncing rain kind of weather outside. Don't have company? Plan a trip away to visit your friends who live in a different part of the country. Meet up with friends who couldn't care less whether it's Valentine's Day or not, and just drive. Changing your regular everyday scenery and escaping the rut for a day or two will get you into a whole new mindset. The result? Relaxed, replenished and happy you.
We watched the sunset over the castle on the hill 🎶
7. Enjoy the moment. Do you know what? It's so easy to get caught up in the everyday race. It's a piece of cake to become worried about numbers, figures, dates, deadlines, problems, complications, the "can'ts", the "don'ts"... and the list goes on. We fret a lot. And we fret a lot of small stuff, too. We start complaining about the day before it even started, forgetting how amazing is the fact that we actually got to open our eyes and saw the day light. There are those who physically can't do that. We buzz with morning coffee and get into our "grind mode" forgetting about simple things. Simple pleasures. About small and huge blessings we are receiving all day long. Every single day. We come back home and often spend time glued to a screen rather than invest time into those we share our home with. We are quicker to pop our phones out of our pockets to take a picture rather than be still and take in whatever the beauty we have spotted in that moment. While the life is still going to be that neverending race and we will still have to deal with numbers, deadlines and everyday stresses, it's VITAL to pause and LIVE. In the moment. Enjoying it. Do you remember Phoebe ('FRIENDS' peeps out there will know) dated this man who took the "mental picture" of the moment? Well, as weird as he was, he kind of had the point to an extent. Give someone you love a hug and watch the sunset together. Stop and take in that "mental picture" in front of you, no matter what it is. Look for joy in small things. Because joy is always a choice. Happiness doesn't have a limit. So show love in many ways and don't forget to count your blessings.
*PR samples from Molton Brown;
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Brownie points if you've noticed song lyrics before each point (and guessed the song!).
Just so you know,
I love you all.