Valentine's Day doesn't have to be the only opportunity to show your love for family, friends, and yourself. Guest blogger Marilyn Liepelt explains how to spread the love throughout the month of February (not just on the 14th!).
Ah February—a wonderful month where, mid-way through, we get a day to celebrate love. This opportunity comes in the form of Valentine’s Day, and provides a holiday for us to truly appreciate the love that is all around us. Some with a more cynical perspective view the holiday as another ploy to separate us from our money. Likewise, currently single or broken-hearted people may view this time with sadness and longing; another reminder that love seems elusive.
Regardless of our relationship status or cynicism, we all want love. It feels good to show our love to others and experience love’s sweetness. Endless songs, poems, and stories proclaim ‘love makes the world go ‘round." Religions tout the power of love. Science is discovering the medicinal and healing nature of love. Instead of compiling all that appreciation into one day, let’s reclaim the whole month of February as our ‘Month of Love’!
Here are some thoughts and ideas to help warm your heart with the heat of love during this chilly month:
First, ask yourself: ‘who needs to be reminded of my love?’
Are you in a relationship?
No matter how long you’ve been together, chances are you began by exploring the wonders of your new heartthrob. Why not take each day to consider one thing that you appreciate about your Sweetheart? Maybe you’ll decide to show them your love in small yet creative ways, doing something out of the ordinary each day to show you care. Spontaneous affection without expectation of anything in return is a timeless gift.
Do you have kids?
Perhaps you’ll choose to find something new to praise each day this month. Maybe you’ll decide to be generous with love and affection while minimizing guilt and criticism. Since the gift of our time is extremely precious, why not give some to your children where they can experience 100% of your attention? Even if you’re currently unable to spend the quantity of time you’d like with your children, consider how you can show your love to them during the precious time you do share. Try to spend quality time with them so that there’s no doubt in their minds that they rock your world!
And last but certainly not least, what about yourself?
So many of us think that we need to indulge or treat ourselves to something unhealthy or addictive as a way to pamper and love ourselves. Instead, how about taking the month to care for yourself as you would a new love interest? What would that look like for you? Here’s a few ideas to get those creative juices flowing:
- Find something different you like about yourself every day
- Notice any unkind thought about yourself and replace it with a caring, loving thought
- Smile at yourself when you notice your frailties and forgive yourself when you make mistakes
- Take a few minutes each day to do something fun and enjoyable
With so many ways to show love this month, February just might become one of your favorite times of the year. Give it a try! Happy loving!
Marilyn Liepelt is a therapist serving clients in Wellspring's Domestic Violence Intervention Program. Her experience includes working with clients who have used abusive behaviors, as well as survivors of abuse. Marilyn believes that people have the power to turn tragedy into triumph by taking control of their lives through personal responsibility.