Valentine’s Day has become very commercialized over the years. There seems to be a lot of social pressure to purchase things for those that you love. Pressure to “go out and do something together”. Pressure to “prove” your love with the largest gift, card, or elaborate reservation. Sometime’s though, for some folks, Valentine’s day is just another day, not different from any other.
However, if you are one of the folks who celebrates this day; one of the ones who gets all twitterpated when you think of what you can do for that special someone or group then this is an exciting day for you. There are things you can do though, to do something special without all the “fuss”. Your brain injury survivor you may or may not be interested in the social congestion and crowds that can fill the stores, restaurants, and traffic. This holiday can also bring a sense of loneliness, isolation, depression, and melancholy for those who are unable to participate the way they would like to, or with who they would like to. So sometimes just remembering someone can lift their spirits.
Valentine’s Day can be a magical time for couples who do celebrate this day, or even those we care deeply about – even those who we are not in a romantic relationship with. This day has become a day that we are reminded to celebrate love, passion, and belonging.
Valentine’s Day is the perfect opportunity for you to take the time to show that brain survivor person you know some affection, friendliness, and that you care for and value who they are as a person…..even if they are now a different person than they used to be.
If you are a solo flyer and have noone to celebrate, consider celebrating yourself and loving yourself for all that you are, all that you have been, and all that you are becoming. Self care is just as important, if not moreso than the care we give someone else.
Some economical ideas that won’t break the bank and add a personal touch to the day are as follows:
- Write a note or “Valentine” with all the accomplishments, positive statements, love you feel, emotions that are positive, and progress your survivor has experienced in the last year. Deliver to them and consider reading it to them out loud if they have trouble with reading or comprehending written words. Otherwise, you can present it in any form you choose. Be careful not to use perfumes or scents on your letter if your survivor is sensitive to these.
- Create a picture collage for your “Valentine” as a slideshow, powerpoint, or other program that they can open a file on and play, or that you have burned to a disc.
- Create a Coupon book using construction paper, stickers, scrapbook materials, etc. Spare no creativity here. This is only limited by your imagination. Maybe some coupons could be “help make a meal”, “drive you to an appointment”, “write a letter to a provider for you”, “help you for a couple of hours with household chores”, “watch the kids overnight so you can get uninterupted rest”……you get the idea… Use gel pens, markers, crayons, or other art supplies to jazz it up a bit.
- Make a positive quote booklet. Type or write up motivational quotes and put them in a binder or booklet form and present to your “Valentine” to give them something to refer to whenever they need a pick-me-up.
- Provide a delicious treat. Whether store bought, or homemade, sometimes the personal touch of a box of chocolate, candy hearts with little messages on them, a home cooked meal they didn’t have to make, a plate of warm cookies, or something along those lines can be very special and send a loud message that you care about the little things – especially if you have considered their dietary restrictions or food allergies (if they have any).
- Make a “treasure box of love” – you can include coloring books, crayons, word search, brain activity card games, board games, fidget spinners, sensory objects, puzzles, or things that you know they are personally interested in. You don’t have to go crazy here. This can be one thing or a lot of things. The thought is what counts the most on this one.
- Set aside personal time for just you and your partner. This can be 5 minutes, 30 minutes or an hour. Whatever their tolerance is for this. Hold hands, snuggle, or just sharing space together without outside interference can be a welcome experience.
- Create an Aromatherapy collection for your survivor if various aromas are a positive experience for them. This can include incense, candles, tinctures, essential oils, melting wax and warmer, etc.
- Run a bath with bubbles, essential oils, or other things your “Valentine” may want to soak in. Help them into the bath, help wash their back, or perhaps play them some soft music while they relax.
- Write a poem or a song for your “Valentine”. Sing to them or make them a video where you are signing, reading them a poem, or speech with them in mind.
Valentine’s Day is rich with historical developments over the years. There is really no wrong way to celebrate it. It’s also okay if you don’t celebrate it. However, for those that do – make it fun, make it safe, and think outside the box when working to do something special for your brain injured “Valentine”.