Valentine’s Month is here! February is one of my favourite months, which admittedly is partially because my birthday is in the middle of the month. I also love February because I love Valentine’s Day and the potential for love, hope, and kindness. While many of us get wrapped up in the commercial aspect of the holiday, we can lose touch with what really matters. Here are a five ways you can spread love this Valentine’s Day without breaking the bank:
- pay it forward!
Buying someone’s coffee in the drive-thru is a quick, easy, and affordable way to do something kind and possibly turn someone’s day around. I have seen my fair share of Facebook posts that try to critique this tried and true method, however, I cannot be dissuaded. Especially during pandemic times, a little kindness can go a long way!
- Drop off some treats to essential workers in your community
Continuing with the coffee theme, I’ll preface this by admitting this next one was a bit of an accidental act of kindness. A few months ago, I was walking home from campus and stopped at Starbucks for a warm drink to make the cold walk home more bearable. My Her Campus chapter had just finished a Krispy Kreme fundraiser, and there were a few boxes left, so we split them amongst our team members to take home. While I was paying for my drink, the barista asked me where I got the donuts (we don’t have a Krispy Kreme in our city), and I explained that a team member had driven a couple of cities over to pick them up. Without thinking much about it, I offered her one, and her whole face lit up. I ended up leaving half the box for the team to enjoy, and they were thrilled. I share this story not to make myself look good – in fact, I had no intention to share the donuts that day; it was simply an in-the-moment act! Seeing the employees get so excited about some donuts truly made my day.
- Send a snack/Meal to a friend
I have trinkets. So many trinkets. As much as I love stuffed animals, colourful notebooks, and new hair clips, I have become fond of practical gifts. As a busy university student, one of my favourite gifts to receive is food! Speaking from personal experience, a fun snack or a warm meal has the power to turn my whole day around.
Last year, my friend surprised me on Mother’s Day with an UberEats delivery of some bubble tea (for context, I’m the ‘mom friend’ of the group). It was such a sweet and simple gesture, but it has stuck with me for months. I personally believe gifting food is the right amount of practical and fun. My cousin had a baby two weeks ago and, inspired partially by my friend’s bubble tea gesture, our gift included some baby books and clothes, as well as lasagna, garlic bread, and tarts! They opened the door, noticed what we brought and said “Thank God, we put in a rough night last night and had no idea what we were doing for dinner today!” Needless to say, it was a hit!
- Compliment a stranger
This Thoraya Maronesy Youtube video inspired me. When did it start being awkward to tell strangers you liked their hair, sweater, or smile? This act of kindness will cost you $0 and has the power to change someone’s day or even change the way they see themselves. It costs nothing but a little courage and will result in a happy reaction that will make you both feel warm and fuzzy.
- Be kind to yourself!
You will not be able to look out for others if you do not look out for yourself. So, this Valentine’s Day (or really any time), show yourself some love. This can mean a movie night, an extra-long bath, a shopping spree, a family-sized meal from SkipTheDishes (leftovers- the gift that keeps on giving!), or anything that makes you feel special.
I am wishing you all a February filled with hugs, kisses, and punny cards with cinnamon hearts inside them. Now go start spreading a little love this Valentine’s Day!