Valentine’s Day is a time when love is teeming in the air, and cards, flowers and chocolate are exchanged as a sweet and thoughtful expression of affection. For those twenty-four hours, everything seems to be the color red, and cupid and hearts are the images we see everywhere.
But how do you keep the day more meaningful than just celebrating the commerciality of it, and make your partner feel special not just on one special day of the year, but all the days that follow?
Here are some tips to help make Valentine’s Day mindful, and can also be used all year long:
• Ask your partner if they could have one wish granted on this day, what would it be? Try and make it happen for them.
• Write your partner a card in your own words. Don’t just rely on what’s already written for you, but infuse the card with your own sentiments. Really speak from your heart.
• Step outside of your routine or comfort level for your partner. If you know they like something that isn’t necessarily your thing, show them that you want to do it for them. It could be taking them dancing or bike riding. Make this day about them.
• Turn the bedroom or bathroom into a sensual experience. Put roses on the bed, or fill the bath with essential oils, and put candles all around it. Have soft ambient music playing and pretend you’re on vacation.
• Give your partner a massage, or arrange for them or the both of you to have one together.
• Make a vision board ahead of time with pictures of the romantic things you’ve done together, or want to do with your partner.
• Cook a meal for your partner. Surprise them with either something you know they love, or something you’ve never made for them that you think they’d appreciate. If you can’t cook it, bring it in from your partner’s favorite restaurant.
• Make a fire, and sit with your partner with either a cup of tea or a glass of wine or champagne, and tell them a story of how you fell in love with them. Include as many complimentary details as you can to make them feel like they’re the most special person in the world to you.
• Slow dance with your partner. Look into their eyes and tell them you love them.
• Make love to your partner, and fall asleep in each other’s arms.
Every day can be Valentine’s Day when your focus and attention is on nothing other than the person you love.
Ora Nadrich, Certified Life Coach, Mindfulness Meditation Teacher & Author
In her book Says Who? How One Simple Question Can Change the Way You Think Forever, Ora Nadrich teaches the “Says Who? Method”, a step-by-step process of confronting our negative thoughts, which are what often create the obstacles in our lives.
A Celebration of Love
Valentine’s Day can be celebrated by more than just couples. Whether you’re single or have kids, this holiday is filled with all different kinds of affection. If you’re single, make this day special by spending it with your closest friends or family. If you have children, showcase your love for them, as well as teach them different ways of showing their love to others. However you decide to celebrate this day and with whomever, get creative and try something you’ve never done. And we can help get you started with these sweet and fun ideas.
Feeling the love with your kids:
• Dinner and a movie: Take your kids on a dinner date somewhere kid-friendly and help them feel independent by letting them order and pay (with your money, of course). Afterwards, let them pick the show and enjoy!
• Throw a party: Get out the red velvet cupcakes, punch, goodie bags, and have a blast with your friends and their kids. Do a Valentine’s Day gift exchange, and if your kids are older, make it a white elephant-like cupid gift exchange. You’ll all break into laughter when someone opens a box of toothbrushes and another opens up a pack of dorky heart socks!
• Pancakes that say thanks: Take the kids out to a fun breakfast where they serve heart-shaped waffles or pancakes. Start the day off fresh and full of love.
• On a hunt for heart treasure: Have a treasure hunt around the house and backyard for Valentine’s Day loot!
• Get crafty: Go to your local craft store and splurge on crafts to make homemade Valentines together.
• Toast with fancy mock-tails: One of the best parts of date night is being able to have a new and interesting drink, so recreate that experience at home by whipping up a few of these mock-tails for the whole family! There are great recipes on our website for that chocorita!
• Bake your heart out: Let your children help you bake Valentine’s goodies for your work, their classroom, or even the neighbors, and don’t forget to lick the spoon when you’re done!
• Flower power: Go on a nature walk and create your own bouquet together.
• A heartfelt meal: Prepare a unique Valentine’s meal at home, like heart-shaped grilled cheese, heart-shaped quesadillas, heart-shaped meatloaf, or heart-shaped pasta.
• Tea time: Host a special tea party with heart décor and make little heart-shaped sandwiches.
• Say cheese: Have a photoshoot with your kids and get silly for the camera.
• Snuggle for the show: Have a family movie night slumber party in the living room, and watch love story classics like Lady and the Tramp or Cinderella.
• Turn the Page: Before the big day, stock up on Valentine’s books and cuddle up to read them together.
• Give an open heart: Take your kids to a local nursing home and surprise people who need a little more love on this special day.
Single, but still in love:
• Honor their love: Choose a couple you admire, and honor them this Valentine’s Day with your love, gifts and admiration.
• Movie night: Grab your single friends and go see the latest comedy for a good laugh that will leave you feeling warm and fuzzy.
• Timeless love: Make a surprise visit to your grandparents on this special day to show and tell them how much you love them.
• Be selfless: Offer to babysit for a couple you know who has kids, and trust that one day they’ll return the favor!
• Pamper yourself: Take yourself to get a haircut, spa day, or even a massage. You deserve it!
• Let it go: Some of us may have remnants of a broken heart, and this holiday brings up triggers. This Valentine’s Day, host a campfire where you and your friends can burn those old feelings that drag you down.
• Be spontaneous: Get out of town for the day and explore a place you’ve always wanted to see but never took the time to do so.
• Family night: If Valentine’s Day is about love, then spend it with those you’ve loved for years and have a family night. Don’t forget to grab ice cream!
• Glam it up: Join some friends in dressing up like its prom before heading out for a night on the town…you just may end the night with a secret admirer!
• Give it away: Volunteer this Valentine’s Day at a senior home, women’s shelter or youth program, and give your time, love and talent away with a smile.
• Friendly flowers: Surprise one of your friends with flowers and a card that shares your appreciation for their friendship.
• Pet friendly: Buy your pet an awesome gift. Whether it’s a toy, treats or a cool new accessory, you’re sure to get their tails wagging!
• Movie marathon: You’re favorite (secret) genre could be action, romantic comedies or campy cult classics – February 14th is the day to indulge in them all.
• Love yourself: Treat yourself to something special that you deserve and have been wanting all year.
Regardless of how you choose to spend your Valentine’s Day, remind yourself that you are loved by others. Happy Valentine’s Day, and may this February remind you of those who make you smile!
Sabrina Short, Staff Writer