As Valentine’s Day comes to an end, here are a few ways to continue spreading the holiday love throughout this month and year. Everyone has different love languages, so that should be kept in mind when looking at how different people may express or prefer to receive affection.
Show Care: Whether it is by pausing to ask about your loved one’s day, or asking if they need anything from you, showing care for your loved ones is a great way to express your gratitude for them.
Letter-Writing: A letter or card can mean a lot. Just because we don’t often tell others how much they mean to us, and a letter of thankfulness or just to check in can make somebody’s day so much better.
Words of Encouragement: If your love language happens to be words of affirmation, this is a perfect way to tell someone that you love and are happy they are in your life. It can always help to let someone know that you will be by their side.
Acts of Kindness: Acts of kindness are all about anticipating what the other person needs and would appreciate from you. Keeping in mind what would make the other person feel loved is key, and going out of your way to be kind to them can improve the bonds in your relationship. After all, there is a reason for the maxim “actions speak louder than words.”
Physical Touch: While not everyone is a fan of physical touch, a good hug when someone needs it can make all the difference. If there is consent, physical touch can be a great way to keep spreading love throughout the year.
Food: When I used to get sick, my godmother would always swing by and drop off seaweed soup. Food is a form of labor and requires love and dedication to create. When words lack the capacity to express how we are feeling, we turn to food to say what we cannot.
Gifts: There’s a reason why celebrations such as Valentine’s Day, a holiday all about showing love, underline the significance of gift giving. While you can’t buy your way into someone’s heart, gifts of any variation, price, or size, can show someone how much they mean to you.
Quality Time: We are often told that the most important thing we have is time, that time is precious and should not be wasted. By dedicating a portion of our day to a loved one, we are telling them that they matter to us and we love to spend time around them because of the way that they make us feel.
Listening: When someone you care about is opening up, sharing, or asking for advice, giving them your full attention and listening shows that you are devoted and willing to listen to what they have to say.
Support Them: It is important to keep in mind that support can take many different forms, but it may be helpful to ask the person how you are able to support them in a way that is most beneficial.
Compliment Them: Remind others what you love about them. It could be a small compliment about their looks or personality, a compliment about something they did, or the way they make you feel just by being themself.
Respect Boundaries: Respect is so crucial when it comes to relationships with loved ones. What makes or breaks these connections is the respect when it comes to emotional or physical boundaries we may have, and this is a way of communicating that you love and care about them enough to respect their choices.
The Little Things: The little things can often go a long way. From writing a little love note on a post-it to sending a supportive text wishing good luck on a test, the little things are often the ones that matter the most. You never know how much supermarket flowers or cleaning up dishes for someone can do to show them that you care.
Self-Love: We are often the hardest on ourselves. For the rest of this month and year, let’s continue demonstrating the value of treating ourselves the way we treat our loved ones. That means cutting off toxic relationships, being kind to ourselves, indulging ourselves, and letting ourselves take a break to do what is best for us. Self love, an ongoing practice, is arguably the most important form of love.