12 January 2016

Five Simple Ways to Show Love & Appreciation

The season of manufactured, retail-induced love is upon us and while I’m not a huge fan of Valentine’s Day, I do like to flip the switch on ol St. Valentine by using the “holiday” to tell the people I love most how much I appreciate them and love having them in my life instead of focusing on the material aspect of Valentine’s Day.

Along this line, it takes a little effort to be creative in showing love and appreciation when you’re looking to spend next to nothing on gifts, trinkets, etc. Valentine’s Day is supposed to be about genuine love so shouldn’t your emotions and efforts really show it? For me personally, I will never find the value of love in a price tag. Materialistic things do not impress me. Some of the best gifts I’ve ever received have been handmade, free or thoughtful gestures.

This Valentine’s Day, or any other day, really, remind your significant other, family member or friend how much you care about them by doing some of these thoughtful gestures.

Five Simple Ways to Show Love & Appreciation. #ValentinesDay #Parenting #WorkingMom

Make their life easier. Have a friend who is a new mom? Cook dinner for her, help her with the laundry, babysit so she can get a shower or alone time or simply bring her a coffee and keep her company. Have a neighbor who is elderly? Bake cookies for them, shovel their driveway if it’s snowing or take them a meal. Have a spouse who’s stressed? Take on some of their responsibilities at home to lighten their load, cook their favorite meal or give them an evening of pampering.

Make a Valentine’s Day Advent for your spouse. Just as you would do for Christmas, make an advent calendar leading up to Valentine’s Day. If you want to buy a few little trinkets to go along with this then so be it but really, you could use this as an opportunity to write something you love or appreciate about your spouse for each day. Imagine how great you would feel if you had a compliment or sentiment of love to wake up to every morning?

Practice random acts of kindness. Spread the love not only to those you know, but to those you don’t know, too. Buy the person’s coffee behind you in the drive-thru, leave a letter or card of appreciation in your mailbox for the mail man/woman, make a small donation to the charity of your choice or volunteer your time to an organization that needs an extra set of hands. Put your love and appreciation into action!

Put away the electronics. For one day, give the special people in your lives your uninterrupted, undivided attention. The world won’t stop spinning if you fail to post to Instagram, Facebook or Twitter. Ban all phones, laptops and iPads and actually talk to one another. Tell the people in your life who mean the most to you how much you love and appreciate them because one day, they will be gone. Tell them now how much you love them!

Write it out. In this day and age of advanced technology, it’s so easy to dilute our emotions down to a short text or email. Take the time to write your spouse, family member or friend an actual letter, something they can keep with them always to look back on and read when they need a little encouragement or reminder of your love and appreciation. To me, there is nothing sexier than when a man puts pen to paper to tell his sweetheart how he feels. I think us humans long for this personal touch in our lives and technology has done all but remove it from every aspect of our daily lives. Write down how you feel about your loved one. They will treasure it. 
Courtney @ Shiraz In My Sippy Cup
Courtney @ Shiraz In My Sippy Cup

Courtney is a published author, mom, taco enthusiast, and a Star Wars and Tennessee Volunteers fanatic. She's never met a piece of sushi she didn’t like and enjoys an amazing glass of wine and a great cut of meat. You can read more of her wine-induced, sleep-deprived adventures on The Huffington Post and Scary Mommy.

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