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Published on February 11, 2020

red mailbox with valentines letters

Spreading the Love

Valentine’s Day is a great time to remember those you love. So how can you spread the love?

One of my favorite ideas came from a friend of mine. During February, she would put out four plastic mailboxes with red “you’ve got mail” flags and their names on them. They found the mailboxes at Target. 

Next, people in their family would randomly write notes for one another, and when they put mail in a family member’s box, they would put up their red flag, signaling there was new mail. On these notes were anything from “You have a nice smile” to “I liked it when you came to my basketball game and cheered me on.”

This activity is always good for an instant smile.

An idea that I incorporated into my house was giving out construction paper hearts with a compliment on it for each day of the month until Valentine’s Day. I would stick the heart on my family member’s bedroom door and by the end of the month each of our doors were filled with colorful construction paper hearts with all different types of compliments on them.

Before Valentine’s Day arrived, my son decided that Mom needed some hearts, too. Soon my sweet little boy wrote me enough compliments to fill up my entire door. It is a good reminder that our children are always watching and modeling what we do. As an activity, it was fun, but it also reminded me how much a compliment can really transform a person’s whole day.

Finally to spread love and positivity this time of year, start a positivity challenge with a friend. All you have to do is pick a friend and each day both of you text something good that happened in your day. 

I remember doing this with a friend when we were both experiencing a down point in our lives, and each day my spirits lifted just a little because I began to look forward to getting her texts. I loved hearing and picturing the good things that happened to her. In turn, I began to train my brain to look for something good in my day to tell her.

By the end we were both often listing more than one good thing and both had a sunnier disposition in general. This Valentine’s Day, spread the love with others!

By Beth Lucht, Family Life Educator, Women’s and Children’s Community Outreach Education, Avera McKennan Hospital & University Health Center

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