Thanks to Valentine's Day falling smack dab in the middle of the month, there's a huge emphasis on chocolate, roses, hearts, and love in the month of February, and we're all about it.
The focus is often placed on romantic love, which is great—there's certainly a time and place for that. At the same time, it's hardly the only kind of love worth celebrating and expressing.
Whether or not you're partnered up this month, we want to make sure you're spreading and celebrating love in every way possible. Need some ideas? Here are 7 unique ways to express love to the people in your life, so you don't leave anyone hanging.
1. Cuddle up with a pet.
There's a reason we can't get enough of our furry friends: Research shows that having a pet makes us happier. If you're a dog or cat owner, you can probably relate to this. So show your pet how much you love them this month by taking them on an extra long walk, giving them their favorite treat, or simply cuddling up with them while watching your favorite show on Netflix.
2. Write a letter to your best friend.
Caught up in a back-and-forth texting frenzy with your best friend that's involved way too many canceled plans recently? It happens to the best of us. This month, take a moment to sit down and write your best friend a well thought-out letter letting them know exactly how much they mean to you. And don't just hand it to them—send it. Everyone loves get personalized mail.
When was the last time you really sat down and listened to someone? Life gets busy, and sometimes we forget how important the simple act of listening really is. If you notice someone in your life seems to be going through a particularly tough time, ask them what's going on and really listen to what their response. Even if you can't provide a solution for them, they'll feel supported and loved by you.
4. Clean the house while your partner is at work.
Whether you're married or in a long-term relationship, you know how annoying and stressful it can feel when dishes pile up in the sink, dust collects in the corners, and your coffee table hasn't been cleared of clutter in weeks.
If you have the flexibility, leave work a few hours early and give your shared home a deep clean. There are few feelings more refreshing than walking into a sparkling clean house or apartment after a long day of work. As a nice bonus, you'll reap the benefits of your newly-cleaned space, too.
5. Send a text letting someone know you're thinking of them.
While we tend to be paper people over technology people here at Silk + Sonder, a text is one of the quickest, simplest ways to let someone in your life know you love them. Send a friend a text that says, "Good morning, I'm thinking of you today. I hope you have a great day!" or send a parent a goodnight text telling them you hope they sleep well. These encouraging, thoughtful words of kindness can go a long way.
6. Go out for pancakes with your kids.
How many times have your kids faked sick in an effort to get out of school and spend a little more time with you? If you're a parent, you likely know that struggle well—so find a day this month when you can get up extra early, head to your favorite restaurant, and order a big stack of pancakes, or your breakfast food of choice.
Image via @saharisha
7. Say thank you.
It doesn't matter who you say "thank you" to: It could be a long-term partner, someone you just started dating, a parent, a close friend or stranger. Just taking a few moments to thank someone is a great way to express love. Maybe it's a stranger who held the door for you in a particularly stressful moment, a coworker who has been extra supportive lately, or a romantic partner who always makes you laugh. Say thank you, and let you know what you're thanking them for. The person you express gratitude toward will appreciate it, and you'll be happier too.
Bonus: Ditch your plans and spend an entire day indulging in self-care.
Because sometimes, the person you need to send love to is ... you. So cancel all your plans and book a mani/pedi, take a bubble bath, write in your journal, go for a run, take a hike. Your body, mind, and spirit will thank you.
What are you doing to share the love this month? Let us know in the comments. And while you're at it, make sure to subscribe to Silk + Sonder here.