Science has shown us that when you make gestures of kindness to others you share in benefits to your well-being. Going that extra mile (or even a couple of inches) for someone you care about just feels goooood.
Best of all, it often creates a ripple effect, as your recipient pays the kindness forward to other people in their lives or complete strangers.
So this week, let’s create a big ol’ love train by showing the people you care about some spontaneous appreciation!
I’ve put together recommendations based on the 5 Love Languages, so you can align your actions with how you most like to connect with others. Some gestures are romantic while others are strictly platonic, and there are even a few you can do solo.
Let’s start spreading the L-O-V-E.
In case you don’t know, The 5 Love Languages come from Gary Chapman’s ultra popular book of the same title. In it, he lays out the five most common ways people give and receive love: words of affirmation, receiving gifts, quality time, physical touch, or acts of service. You can learn more about how to translate your love language into your own self care practice in my self-love guide here.
Words of affirmation
Is there anything better than a handwritten love letter? Let the muse speak through you and compose a sweet note to your partner in a nice card or on fun stationary. Then drop it in the mail, so it’s arrival is a true surprise. It’ll be the best 55 cents you’ve ever spent!
In ancient Greek, the Muses were the inspirational goddesses of literature, science, and the arts, but you don’t have to get all flowery and gushy if that’s not your style. Humor is just as sexy!
If you want to turn this into a date night activity, challenge each other to write a love poem. I also like this cute idea of leaving secret compliments: Write down what you love most about your partner on miniature notes and leave them scattered around the house for them to find.
If you’re single, why not write yourself a love letter, extolling all your strengths and good qualities. Pat yourself on the back for a recent success or just remind yourself how much you have accomplished the next time you’re feeling down. You can mail yourself a physical letter or send it straight to your future self using FutureMe.
Acts of Service
While acts of service sounds more practical than romantic, knowing someone has your back when you need an extra hand is the stuff “happily ever after” is built on.
Clutter is scientifically shown to increase our stress and lower our productivity, which is especially difficult now that most of us #WFH. One of the best ways to take action with your partner’s well-being in mind is by keeping your shared environment clean. Do an extra load of laundry, straighten up the office and bedroom or get those dirty dishes out of the sink.
The simple act of taking care of your home together shows dedication to keeping a healthy and happy relationship. And don’t be afraid to clear out negative energy too! Here’s my step-by-step instructions to sage your stress away.
Here’s another idea: You probably already know how much I love a warm bevvie in the morning. Why not surprise your partner with a fresh cup of java and breakfast before they scurry out of those warm covers.
Or create your own At-Home Restaurant. You can even do this one solo or with your best girlfriends! Order takeout or delivery. Bust out the good plates, put flowers on the table, turn on some chill tunes and dim the lights for a chic and easy evening.
You don’t have to drop a ton of cash to lavish treasures on your loved ones. Handmade from the heart is a thoughtful gesture too. Even if you’re not crafty, giving a basket filled with their favorite healthy sweet treats and snacks—or some spa products is a great gift. And buying yourself something nice is always on the menu!
If you want to make the reveal a little more exciting, you can set up a treasure / scavenger hunt to find the gift. X marks the spot!
Quality time with favorite people has probably been hard to come by since the pandemic began. That is why it is so important, not just for your relationships but your mental health, to make those moments together count.
Rule #1 – Turn off your phone when you’re hanging out. When you’re there, be fully present. If being at home is too distracting (hello, Netflix!), take a scenic drive together or lie on a blanket outside and stargaze. Immersing yourself in nature is a great reminder of the peace you can find in being still together, just holding hands with someone you love.
Rule #2 – Step out of your comfort zone. Trying new things is proven to stimulate the brain’s reward system, arousing the neurotransmitters associated with romantic feelings – dopamine and norepinephrine.
If you cannot get together in person, research online experiences you can share with your partner, your friends or your family. These are popping up everywhere lately. Airbnb has a whole section dedicated to online activities hosted by a global community. You can learn to tango in your living room, make Mexican street tacos with a professional chef or take a tour of historical sites thousands of miles away, all rated and reviewed by their huge community.
If you want to stay local, check out your neighborhood museums and zoos, as they often host special video presentations and classes you can view from home.
Touch is the first sense we develop in the womb. Don’t be shy with it in your gestures of kindness. Hugs are welcome! So are soft touches, cheek kisses (Covid friendly, of course), high fives and back rubs. Sex isn’t the only way you can be physically intimate with your partner, and they will appreciate these flirty expressions of love.
With more of our daily life becoming automated or online, people are increasingly touch-starved. For all my single ladies, I laid out a few of my favorite self-love kits to help you show your body the adoration it deserves, from beauty rituals to self pleasuring. You can also use weighted blankets and body pillows to initiate physical touch, and ASMR to stimulate the sensations on your own.
Now that you have a few new options to try out, which will you dive into first? What is your favorite gesture of kindness you’ve ever received? Sound off by posting in The Badass Beauty Club!
LOVE + a high five!