Putting the Love Back into Valentine’s Day
No matter what your dating profile looks like or whether you’re single, dating, or married, Valentine’s Day is still important. It isn’t cancelled during this pandemic. Sure, it may be different this year, but shaking things up from what you’ve always done is healthy and important in keeping your love alive.
The biggest battle this year is the one inside your mind. Thoughts focused on the stress of online work, unemployment, or the fear of getting sick continue to remind you of how tired and overwhelmed you feel. But reclaiming romance, exchanging laughs, and sharing memories will raise oxytocin, the feel-good hormone, which helps reduce stress and boost connection. You need that, because prolonged stress can tear couples apart.
These suggestions can lighten your mood and give you ideas for how to celebrate this Valentine’s Day.
1. Drop the expectations and lower the pressure. Valentine’s Day is about showing love, and there are a thousand ways to make someone feel special with little effort. Take the pressure off that one day and celebrate for a week with small acts of love. Create a Mint-Chocolate Monday, Taco Tuesday, and a Wild Drink Wednesday. Fill in the rest of the week with various themes. Get creative and make it fun!
2. Embrace the changes and try new things. You may have enjoyed a lengthy night out pre-pandemic, but this year, try a virtual cooking class or a virtual game night with your friends. If you’re single, invite two of your friends to a patio dinner or consider meeting them at a park. Bring blankets and takeout. Your friends can bring plenty of laughter, and humor increases joy and minimizes stress.
3. Show yourself love with a pamper party. In our normal busy lives, we put everyone else on top of our list. We can easily forget to schedule time for ourselves. Make tonight the night for you. A long, luxurious bath with new bath oils to soften your winter skin, a face mask, good music, and candle lit surroundings can be calming and restoring. You love others better when you take time to care for yourself.
4. Try an intimate walk and talk date. Most couples and friends enjoy going for walks, but you can enhance your walk with a deeper connection. Your walk is an opportunity to shut everything else down and talk about your relationship. Your partner will love when you ask them how they are feeling and actively listen. Sample questions can be as simple as these:
When did you first know I loved you?
What was the first thing that attracted you to me?
Did you know right away I was the one?
What is the funniest thing you remember happening to us when we were dating?
5. The best Valentine’s Day gift you can give anyone is your time and attention. Stress is at an all-time high for many. Stress increases cortisol and this can manifest as feeling fatigued, overwhelmed, unmotivated, and defeated. Your partner may not have the energy for intimacy but pleasing your partner with a massage or reminding them that they are incredible makes them feel loved, appreciated, and grateful that you are their Valentine.
The greatest wealth we will ever have is the ability to love and be loved. Make your actions this Valentine’s Day, whether big or small, focused on appreciating the one you love. Celebrating love is a gift-not a duty.