Valentine’s Day (not Valentimes!) is just around the corner, and you’re still single. Yes, you, the one that swore she would have a Valentine! Does that mean that you shouldn’t look forward to the holiday? No, hope is not lost. Valentine’s Day is a day of love! Maybe you can’t fall in love with another person, but you can fall in love with life in 7 days. Here are 7 things to do to increase your gratitude just in time for Valentine’s Day.
This list can be modified so that you can do one thing each day or as many times as you want over the next seven days.
1. Notice the Little Things
There’s no better way to increase gratitude than to notice all the small things. Like your neighbor that says good morning to you, or how you feel when you put on your favorite shoes. Even on your worst days, a tiny bit of appreciation can go a long way. Personally, I love taking notes of all the beautiful people I see on the train. I’ve learned to truly appreciate the community around me and where I live.
2. Start a Gratitude Journal
Get a fresh book and write down one thing that you are grateful for each day. Pick one thing and really write about why you appreciate it, the way it made you feel, and who you would like to share that feeling with. This can be as simple as writing a few sentences or several pages. Over time, it will be hard to decide to pick just one thing. Give in to that temptation and compile a list. Not only will this improve your mood for the day, but ultimately your perspective on life.
3. Tell someone how much you care about them each day
Showing love is a great way to increase gratitude! Pick 7 people and tell them how much you care about them! Write a letter or send a voicemail to each person. This exercise will not only open your eyes to the people that you choose to celebrate, but to everyone around you. Feel free to make the number as big as you want. And it’s likely that you will receive love too! The people who thank you thank will express appreciation for being recognized and may even tell you how much they care about you.
4. Buy a plant and name it after yourself.
This might sound like a weird suggestion, but it will be very beneficial to your mental health! Buy a plant and name it after yourself. Each day tell the plant nice things! Tell the plant how beautiful it is, how much it makes you happy. This activity will bring you joy and stimulate plant growth since plants love hearing positive things.
5. Thank your body
Work out, talk a walk, or do some hardcore exercise and then thank your body. Say something like “Thank you for working so hard today!” or “You are doing a great job protecting me.” You can even go big and say, “You are powerful and strong.” These sound like cliché affirmations, but they work! So many of us are hard on ourselves and our bodies, but we fail to realize how hard our bodies work to protect us from sickness and disease. Your body is working hard to keep you alive, show it some gratitude!
6. Reconcile with an old friend
This is a tough one because it requires some work: think about someone that you no longer talk to and try to reconcile. Skip the small talk and have a heart-to-heart about how you feel and how a particular situation hurt you. And if you hurt them, apologize. Be sincere. Pick someone that you know you are ready to have this conversation with; a conversation long overdue. If you are still griping about the situation or still angry, it might be okay to skip this one. Don’t be argumentative, rather try to be honest and open. Even if your relationship is not restored, you’ll be grateful to get some things off your chest in a healthy way.
Give your money or your time to a cause. Reach out to someone who needs some help. There are always people in our lives that are doing it alone. Find that person and ask them what you can do to help, even if it is just for a day. Watch your friend’s kids or help an elderly person clean their home. Help a friend struggling with childlessness. Your gratitude for life is sure to grow no matter how you give because you will reflect on all the times others gave to you! Plus charity is a virtue, so give a little!