You may have noticed that we have posted several blogs recently about Valentine’s Day, (relationship check-up here, and ideas for the whole family here). That’s because at Relationships Matter and at Capital Choice Counselling Group we firmly believe that our relationships are at the centre of our physical, social, spiritual, emotional, and mental health. We think that a holiday that celebrates relationships deserves our attention, but if you are tired of the materialistic and romantic emphasis on the holiday, we’ve put together a list of things you can do to celebrate the relationships in your life that don’t always get a lot of attention but are vital to our lives: friendships. Bonus: They don’t require spending large amounts of money!
Great Ways to Celebrate Friendships this Valentine’s Day
1. Donate/Volunteer: Maybe you have been walking with your friend through a very difficult past year—cancer, a heart attack, or the loss a loved one. This might be the perfect time to show your friend how much you care about their situation through donating your time or money towards a cause that would most help them. If they have gotten involved in a cause themselves, you could volunteer together. It would mean the world for your friend to know that you stand with them.
2. Start A New Tradition: Is there something that you and your friend both love? Is it movies, music, musicals, a sport, videogames? Use Valentine’s as an opportunity to annually celebrate both your friendship and your shared passion. Create memories that you can look back on throughout the year, and it gives you something to look forward to as well!
3. Write a heartfelt letter: We do not tell our friends how much they mean to us enough, so why not use Valentine’s as a way to remind your friends how important they are. We all know how good it feels to hear that we are valuable and treasured by someone else. Craft a letter and/or card that tells your friend just that. And if it feels too sappy, you can always throw a joke in at the end. Just don’t skip the heartfelt stuff. I promise you will be glad you did it, though you may be in for some teasing.
4. Dinner Party: What better way to celebrate multiple friendships then with food! Eat your way through a fun evening, creating new stories and re- telling old ones. And for couples that want to celebrate Valentine’s but don’t want the pressure, a night spent with friends is the perfect fit. You can even combine the heartfelt letter with the dinner party by giving out Valentine’s cards to each person with a sweet sentiment. They aren’t just for kids!
5. Try Something New: Is there something both you and your friend have wanted to try, but didn’t want to go it alone? Be each other’s wingman and support each other through the failures and successes of trying something new. Love it or hate it, you will come out with a win because you got a chance to bond further with your friend.
This Valentine’s, instead of boycotting, transform the day into an opportunity to treasure and celebrate the relationships that sustain you, whether they be a friend, pet, parent, or significant other.
Blog written by: Erika DeSchiffart, psychotherapist with Capital Choice Counselling Group.