4 ways to show heartfelt acts of kindness this Valentine’s Day

It’s February and love is in the air! Valentine’s Day can be a wonderful reminder that love of all kinds does indeed make the world go round. During the pandemic, when everyone is struggling with challenges that were barely on our radar last Valentine’s, showing even small acts of love and kindness will help us through to the other side

Write heart-felt notes of appreciation

If you live in a senior living residence, on Valentine’s Day you could write anonymous notes of appreciation and kindness to your fellow residents and staff. Think of a quality in that person that you admire and write it on pretty note paper (or even a cut-out heart, if you like!).

For example, you could say to your next-door neighbour, “Happy Valentine’s Day! Just wanted you to know that I appreciate your warm smile every morning.” If you live in your own home, you might also do a similar act for your neighbours, mail carrier, delivery people or family members. Think about substituting a small bag of candy or chocolate hearts for the note. (Or do both!)

Explore—and share—a new pastime with someone

Finding new (and re-discovering old) activities and creative pursuits is keeping many seniors engaged and active during the pandemic. This isn’t just “busy” work, but is helping us to focus, learn and feel good about our efforts. Why not make February the time to learn a new hobby that you just might love?

It will be even better if you ask a friend or family member to accompany you on your creative journey. Arrange a video chat or phone call to connect and share.

Play your favourite love song

We’ve all heard stories of porch concerts and backyard musicians during the pandemic. Music is a powerful tool that can improve our cognitive and emotional health—and it just makes us happy! Pick a week’s worth of your favourite love songs and play one each day during February. If you know the lyrics, sing along as if you’re on stage at Carnegie Hall—it’s hard not to smile after that!

If you enjoy regular video chats with family and friends, ask them to choose their favourite song and then listen together on the chat. Each person can talk about why they love this particular song; it’s amazing the memories and stories music elicits in all of us.

Love the one you’re with

Many of us are feeling anxious and on edge during this time. Physical distancing and masks can make us fearful of interacting in our usual way. While it’s crucial to follow all COVID-19 safety protocols, you can also make a conscious choice to be even more kind, respectful and compassionate towards everyone you meet.

Begin each day with an empathetic attitude, greeting strangers and friends alike with an upbeat “Hello.” Focus on the positive, whether that’s thanking a healthcare or essential worker for their contribution, or simply admiring a passersby’s dog. It can be a “make your day” moment for you—and someone else too.