Do you love or hate Valentine's Day? Celebrate the alternative "Galentine" Day?
No matter how you feel, it's coming. We often feel pressure from society and let's face it ads to celebrate with disposable decorations, junk food in fancy wrappers, cute heart shirts that loose their appeal the day after.
It's also a chance to feel lonely or unloved. It's a holiday celebrating romance, red roses, diamonds, being a couple and candlelight dinners. I signed my first divorce paper on Valentine's Day- so it's a tough holiday for me emotionally.
However, underneath all the layers of societies expectations and ads encouraging us to buy, buy, buy is a simple message- show people you care. This simple act allows you to also receive love. If you're struggling with the mid-winter blues taking a bit of time outside your regular routine can help get through the bleak mid-winter.
Here are some ideas for Valentine's Day and any other day-
Replace social media with reality.
Sometimes months go by and the only news you have from friends or family are social media posts. Many of us are just soooo busy we feel we don't have time for coffee or a drink. Honestly it's only an hour- text a friend right now for a rendezvous.
The other benefit of coffee or a drink is you are supporting local businesses that depend on you showing up. Avoid that sad, sad feeling of driving past a coffee shop or restaurant that has gone out of business before you got around to supporting it. Folks these small businesses depend on you.
Send a card or letter.
I know some folks on the Zero Waste/Plastic Free journey choose not to send traditional mail. I haven't reached that point yet. I still love to open my mail box and see a real envelope and be delighted with a card or thoughtful note. Purchasing cards is also a way to help support art and artist. One of my favorite card reuses is to turn a greeting card into a postcard and mail it forward.
Show nature some love
Take a walk, by yourself, with friends, with your dog and pick up some trash. I try to pick up trash on every walk- unless it's just too cold and frozen. This simple act tunes you into the beauty of nature. Plus you are leaving an area better than when you arrived. Even if daily trash picking isn't possible- holidays are a great occasion to "pick it up".
Shop small, local and indie.
We can't stress this enough- our actions speak louder than our words. Every time we make a purchase we're voting for the kind of world we want to live in. If you value a vibrant downtown- shop main street. If you want women entrepreneurs to thrive- find and support women owned businesses. If you value the planet, instead of buying from big corporations support indie businesses with vision and values.
Buy Less Buy Better
It can be hard to ignore holiday hype- it's effective, pulls at our heart strings and is designed to sell. Try not to buy over packaged consumables especially ones encased in plastic. Many of these quickly consumed products cannot be reused. Many cannot be recycled due to a mixing of materials. Look for products with simple, natural packaging instead of Valentine glitter. Choose items that are well crafted, made with integrity and will stand the test of time.
Treat yourself to self care.
Holidays especially Valentine's Day are an excuse to indulge and treat ourselves. Often we are so busy balancing daily life that we forget about self care. Take some time for yoga, a book, yummy food, chocolate or a spa day. It's a great time to exfoliate, shave your legs, give your skin a bit of extra love. Schedule a time and make sure you have what you need- including a clean bathroom and bedroom. Sometimes tiding up is an act of self love.
Whatever you decide to do, we hope you feel the love for yourself, others and our beautiful planet.