By Talia Witherspoon
Valentine’s Day is one of my favorite holidays, even though 90 percent of the time I never have someone special to spend it with. Instead of moping, I created a foolproof way to savor the day — not by inhaling a box of my favorite Sees Candy key lime truffles — but by milking it off every ounce of ooey-gooey love.
Every year I make plans with myself that usually include hitting Sephora for a beauty splurge then heading to the florist (AKA, The Farmer’s Market, Trader Joes or Whole Foods) to grab my favorite arrangement of stargazer lilies and a bottle of Quady Elysium wine.
Once I get home, I like to relax by turning on some music or a movie and ceremoniously cook one of my favorite recipes using super fresh ingredients. Even if I had a significant other, I’m pretty convinced that we’d still spend the evening indoors because of my severe allergy to the cold. Plus, romance at home seems much more personal and intimate than a two-hour wait at a restaurant that I’ve probably eaten at a dozen times.
I totally understand how some people look at Valentine’s Day as a frivolous, consumer-driven day that capitalizes on and makes a mockery of love. However, I believe that it’s really all a matter of perception. Instead of focusing on the consumerism aspect, I choose to move through my day consciously by observing and studying people’s expressions and body language. Over the years, I’ve noticed that even when it’s cold out, unfailingly, the energy of love feels palpable. So this, of course, seems to me like the perfect opportunity to not only romance myself a little, but to pay forward a few acts of loving kindness to my fellow human beings.
Here are eight tips that will hopefully inspire you to do the same and spread love on V-Day:
1. Leave a love note in the bathroom or some other random place. One kind message can positively impact someone’s entire day.
2. Buy a coffee or tea for a stranger. A hot cup of anything is delightful and soothing by itself. When you add free to the mix that hot cup of whatever automatically becomes all the more exceptional.
3. Drop off some handmade Valentines at a local shelter or retirement home. Nothing says I care more than handcrafted love.
4. Tape a dollar to a vending machine for the next user to get a free snack. Why? Because snacks are awesome, and the person who finds that dollar will think that you are too.
5. Give a thank you note to someone who has inspired or helped you in the past. Make someone’s day and let him or her know that they are appreciated and that you remember their kindness.
6. Pay someone’s toll or fair. Commuting whether by bus, train or car can be stressful at times. Give your fellow commuter one less thing to worry about out in the streets.
7. Let someone cut you in line. This is especially awesome when they have a ton of groceries and you only have a handful.
8. Offer a friend to babysit their kid — especially if they’re single. Most kids are good, fun company, which is a win for you. Plus, all parents deserve a break from time to time, even if it’s just to go get a manicure or a beer without their little one in tow.
See how you don’t have to be in love to spread it around? It’s actually pretty simple, fun, and spectacularly contagious. Don’t believe me? Just try it.
Talia is a freelance digital journalist, writing artista and curator of Sassy Nation. A lifestyle specialist, her brand represents natural beauty, style, travel and healthy, simplistic living with a highbrow aesthetic. She has an affinity for lists and is also a known Earth lover, vegetable eater, tea sipper, cupcake baker and fun maker. She invites you to get to know her.