This is a tough day for a lot of people. One way to handle it is to ignore the day or say phrases like “Valentines doesn’t matter”, “it’s just a hallmark made up holiday” or “I treat my sweetie like Valentines is everyday.” If you really do constantly remember to provide your love to the people around you, I commend you, keep up the good work. Reality is, most people don’t. We become busy living our lives and we take each other for granted.
We all need reminders. A good example of this is driving down the road on the day before trash day we see our neighbour’s recycling bin and it reminds us to put ours out. Valentine’s Day is the same. It’s a reminder to remember to reach out and say how thankful we are to have the people in our life and how we appreciate them.
If we utilize Valentine’s Day as a reminder to be grateful for the people around us it will improve our own physical and mental health. A study at Berkeley showed that being grateful to the people around us will improve our brain chemistry which decreases depression and increases our satisfaction of life. A Harvard study showed that an act of kindness improved relationships and increased happiness. Showing someone our love is so beneficial to the giver that it even helps us sleep better.
It’s time to put Valentine’s Day back on our calendars as a reminder to be grateful and appreciative of those around us. Take time to look around today and see who in your life who you might not have given positive encouragement to. Maybe the single mother next door needs to know that she is not alone in all of it which can be expressed through a simple conversation or a card. Maybe a child needs someone to play catch with him to let him know he is cared for. There are people all around you that do not have someone reminding them they are valued so take the opportunity this Valentine’s Day.
Trish Pauls, MA RP