Love. It’s Valentine’s Day so love is what is our minds today. No one knows for sure when Valentine’s Day celebrations started. Geoffery Chaucer mentions it in his 1375 poem “Parliament of Foules.” Some sources believe that the holiday celebrates the death or burial of someone named Valentine, which was probably around A.D. 270.
Other sources believe the day’s celebrations were an effort to “Christianize” a Roman pagan holiday called Lupercalia, which was occurred around February 15. The pagan festival—which was rather violent—ended with young women placing their names in a big urn and then the bachelors would choose a name and be paired with that woman for a year, which often resulted in their marriage.
Years later, in the Middle Ages, valentine oral greetings became popular, followed by written messages in the 1400s and after, mostly among the upper classes and religious orders since they were the only ones at the time who could read or write. By the Seventeen Century, many countries celebrated Valentine’s Day, with small tokens of affection and handwritten notes being exchanged.
But Valentine’s Day celebrations don’t have to restricted to friends or loved ones, and for that matter, love can be shown to others any day of the year. As Mahatma Gandhi said, “Where there is love there is life.” So as a way to honor love and life, we have come up with this list of 30 Ways to Show More Love in Your Life.
Show More Love by These 30 Ways—Most of which cost little or nothing
- Saying something nice to someone at least once every day
- Doing a chore for another person
- Asking about their well-being (and really meaning the question and listening for the answer)
- Sending an “I’m thinking of you” text or poem
- Using your phone to call someone and say hi (connections are deeper when we hear other people as opposed to just read their words)
- Give an unexpected gift or token to someone
- Surprise someone by stopping by or video calling them
- Plant flowers so show bees and butterflies some love
- Offer to assist an older or infirm neighbor
- Bake someone a cookie or cupcake and then deliver it
- Handwrite someone a note and deliver it in person or put it through the USPS mail system
- Share a fond memory you have with the person who was there at the time the memory was created. You can start with, “Remember when…”
- Pay for someone else’s meal, if you can afford it
- Give someone your time and attention
- Sing someone a song
- Dance spontaneously with a friend (or even a kind-looking stranger)
- Adopt an animal, if you have space and time
- Volunteer at a school, a nonprofit, or a shelter
- Write an e-mail extolling the virtues of a cashier, a retail associate, or your delivery driver
- Write an author a note saying how much you loved their book
- Thank your pastor, rabbi, imam, or other religious leaders
- Let your partner know how much you appreciate them
- Write a note thanking your children’s teachers for all of their hard work
- Tell your mail person, “Thank you for delivering my mail and packages in rain, shine, sleet, or snow.”
- Make your child or partner’s favorite food
- Watch your child or partner or best friend’s favorite movie with them—even if you have to do it virtually
- Give a day of your time (or at least a few hours) to someone and let them decide what you will do together
- With their permission, hug someone
- Video call someone you haven’t talked to in a long time
- Take someone on a walk, hike, bike ride, etc. in the great outdoors to exercise and get some fresh air. It will benefit you both.
Of course, you could always just open your mouth and say, “I love you.” 🙂