It’s Time To Make Valentine’s About Opening Your Heart Again
It seems that we love to hate on Valentine’s Day. From Anti-Valentine’s Day parties to love stinks recipes to suggestions for how to boycott the holiday, many of us are not down with being told when to turn up the heat. We get it, but we also think there’s a lot of reasons to love Valentine’s Day. Isn’t love really what it’s all about?
Yes, it may seem like a gimmicky capitalist creation to get you to open your pocketbook, but it doesn’t have to be. What if V-Day really was about opening your heart? We think giving and receiving love is a most worthy thing to celebrate.
9 Affordable Ways To Love Valentine’s Day And Have Fun
1. Stay In.
As any restaurant server will proclaim, eating out on Valentine’s Day is not a recipe for romance. Restaurants on this day are often anything but intimate. Save your dough and cozy up at home with a home-cooked meal. Prepare a favorite or choose something new to make with your honey. Here’s what’s on our menu.
How about some quality time with yourself? If you’ve been interested in exploring a meditation practice, but unsure how or when to begin, what better day than one where self-love is center stage? Research shows that a regular meditation practice increases happiness, self-awareness, and acceptance. Try one of the guided meditations available through this free app.
3. Quality Time.
Press pause and enjoy some one-on-one time with someone you love. Maybe that’s keeping the evening open for chatting and catching up, or, if that someone is you, as Mary Oliver would say, let “the soft animal of your body love what it loves.” Tuck in with that book you’ve been wanting to read, take an aimless wander in a new neighborhood, find a good spot to watch the sunset, enjoy a piece of delicious chocolate.
4. Say Something.
You know that feeling when someone randomly gives you a compliment? You feel surprised and also kinda awesome. Make Valentine’s Day your day to be that random person. As you move about your day, lift your gaze and really notice who and what is around. When you appreciate something, don’t be shy. Offering words of appreciation is not only a great way to make someone’s day, but a wonderful way to boost your mood as well as you learn to love Valentine’s Day.
5. Give It Away.
You know that sweater of yours that your BFF has been coveting? What if you gave it to her? Giving things away is a great way to practice non-attachment, and it’s also a powerful practice for opening yourself up for good things to flow your way. Give it a try. You may just be surprised when you start to love Valentine’s Day.
6. Help Someone Out.
Maybe that’s offering spare change to a person in need on your commute, or maybe that’s doing someone’s dishes. Once you open your eyes to the ways you can help someone else out, the opportunities are endless. Do as many good deeds as you can on Valentine’s Day. You may just find that being a do-gooder feels pretty darn good and stick to it.
7. Offer a Hug.
We don’t hug each other enough. Research shows that hugging is extremely helpful for managing stress, anxiety, loneliness, and depression. Tell your friends you’re offering free hugs on Valentine’s Day and see who’s game. Let people come to you, or ask before you invade another’s personal space since hugging can be overwhelming for some people. For those that it’s not, you’ll likely both be feeling the love after sharing an embrace.
8. Be In Nature.
Did you know that the Japanese have a specific word for being in nature? They call it, Shinrin-yoku or forest bathing. Doesn’t that sound lovely? This practice is not about hiking or tracking fit-bit steps but rather simply being. “You can sit or meander, but the point is to relax rather than accomplish anything,” writes Quartz. The benefits of hanging with trees? “Forest environments promote lower concentrations of cortisol, lower pulse rate, lower blood pressure, greater parasympathetic nerve activity, and lower sympathetic nerve activity than do city environments,” according to a study conducted by Japan’s Chiba University.
9. Take A Drive.
Sometimes the best way to chill is to hit the open road. Ditch Suri and let your curiosity be your compass on a long drive to wherever you’re drawn. See something of interest? Get out and explore. Just don’t forget the road-trip snacks on this trip to love Valentine’s Day.