Can you cut 1 Tonne of carbon pollution out of your life?Take the challenge
In case you’ve been living under a rock, here’s a heads up: Valentine’s Day is around the corner. Yep, love it or hate it, the day of love is a-comin’ in less than a week.
Whilst it's wonderful that we have a day to celebrate all things romance, Valentine's Day has a not-so-nice side which is difficult to look past. Along with Christmas, V-day seems to give license for advertisers to push even more aggressively for unchecked, hysterical consumerism; and it works. Consumers are estimated to spend a huge $13.2 billion annually worldwide, with the average pundit parting with $116.2 just to show some lovin'. The waste produced and resources drained from this level of consumption is devastating our fragile planet.
Aside from this, the social pressure of Valentine's Day can leave many of us feeling not exactly loved up. For single people, the day can often feel exclusive to couples. Even for those in a relationship, the hyper-consumerism pushed in the lead up to V-day makes gifts from our partners feel obligatory.
But don't despair just yet. We've looked into it, and it's definitely not all bad news! Valentine's Day can be a beautiful opportunity to recognise and be grateful for the love that exists in your life…as well receive a good dose of the stuff yourself. You've just gotta know how to do the day the right way.
Here are some planet and budget friendly ways you can spread and feel the love, not just on Valentine's Day, but any day:
1. Be present with someone.
Being present means that your awareness is exclusively in the moment. When you are present with someone, you are giving them all of your unwavering energy and attention. Listening to someone talk with loving kindness is a great way to do this. Try to leave judgement and thoughts relating to yourself out of the conversation and really just focus on the words and feelings of the other person. You can really feel when someone is present in a conversation with you, and it is such a generous gift. It also feels great for the listener, and you'll find that you will be buoyed by the sense of connection you've experienced.
2. Go on an adventure.
Research repeatedly tells us that experiences make us happy, not possessions. Nothing can really bring us 'happiness', other than the moment we are in right now. Everything else is just the promise of happiness. So why not get out in the world and collect some incredible moments? Spend a few minutes thinking about what you or your loved one really enjoy doing- perhaps it's exploring a new town, sky diving or just road tripping to your favourite beach. If you're feeling like doing something totally out of the ordinary, work your way through this list of crazy things to do in public. Perhaps complete this whilst exploring a new town, for anonymity purposes!
3. Write a heartfelt letter.
This activity doubles as both practicing gratefulness whilst also spreading some warm and fuzzy love. Pouring your heart onto a page or into someone's inbox can make you feel vulnerable, but remember; vulnerability breeds closeness and connection, so don't shy away! Also, don't make the mistake of assuming love letters are only for romantic lovers… This sentiment can be extended to all of the loved ones in your life. Think of how much your mother, sister, or best friend would appreciate an unexpected heartfelt letter from you, articulating just how much you love them!
4. Let nature show you some love.
We recently wrote about the healing properties of getting out in nature. It not only benefits our health, but makes us happy and feel all loved up. For the more spiritually inclined, a long meditation in a beautiful spot could be just the thing to boost the serotonin levels and find your centre on Sunday. If you look with enough awareness, you will be able to see that love exists in everything…the mountains, the trees, flowers, the sea. It's a truly precious thing to experience, let yourself be engulfed by it!
5. Get social: Hit the town or have people over.
Get some friends together and check out what's on…or surprise a lucky someone with tickets! Search 'what's on in (your local city)' to explore your options. If you'd prefer to stay in, consider hosting a Galentine's Day…which is, you guessed it, an awesome, girl-pal alternative to Valentine's Day. Along these lines are Goddess Circles.
With a little planning, you could have an eco-friendly, memorable day this week, whether you're single or coupled. Never under-estimate the importance of fun in your pursuit of love and happiness!
6. Practice self love.
There is a very clear distinction which must be made between self-love and selfishness. Being kind and nurturing yourself is not selfish - in fact - it's an essential part of being a positive influence in the world. If you're not feeling good, the kind of energy you radiate won't be good either. If you have the time, why not set aside the whole day to do kind things for your body and soul? Cook up some delicious healthy recipes to nourish your hard-working body, read an inspiring book, do something fun or creative, or invest in your dreams and goals by creating a vision board. Perhaps you could transform your room or home into a love-filled sanctuary for yourself and your partner (if you have one). Just make sure whatever you do, you alleviate all pressure to 'achieve something.'
Banner image: Unsplash