The month of February is often a time when we think about the love we feel for those that are close to us and find special ways to let them know.
Here are a few ideas you can put into place to let others know how much you love and appreciate them.
Write a Love Note:
Choose a person in your life that over the past year has positively impacted you. This could be a partner or spouse, a close friend or family member, a co-worker, or someone you know as an acquaintance, but their presence brightens your day.
Take a few minutes to reflect on all the gratitude you have and some specific examples of how they have made a difference in your life.
Write them a card or a letter and put it in the mail for them to receive via snail mail, hand it to them, or call them to read it to them over the phone. We spend so much time on computers and email – why not give this gratitude a personal touch.
Random Acts of Kindness:
One of the sweetest ways I know to improve my mood or shift my focus from something negative is to take my attention off what is bothering me and put it on doing something nice for someone else anonymously.
A few examples of this are giving customer service at the register extra money to pay for the drink of the person behind you, write a post-it anonymous gratitude note and leave it on a bathroom stall or a public place that someone will find and pick up, or pick up some litter on the street.
All the little things we do to acknowledge those outside of ourselves and show appreciation for life in general add up. So, whether it’s holding the door for someone or giving your seat up to someone who looks like they might need it more, take a moment or two to do something nice for someone else and see how it affects you.
Prepare a fresh homemade meal:
Sometimes I can catch myself moving so fast that I never sit down to really eat a freshly home cooked meal full of yummy good fresh produce and ingredients. It can be easy to find staples and healthy foods on the go which is super convenient though definitely not as emotionally nourishing, and it will often feel like something is missing.
If you are the same, take some time this week to research a recipe online that looks delicious, go out and buy some fresh ingredients and pick them up for yourself and cook up a treat. Perhaps you can put on some fun music as you do it, light a candle, or buy yourself some fresh flowers to place somewhere special in your home. Make it a treat for your senses to cut the veggies and produce you will need, and to linger around the kitchen to take in the smells as you prepare your masterpiece.
I did this recently with the recipe below and it was so enjoyable to smell the flavors as I grated the beets and carrots and to smell the parsley as I chopped it up.
Give it a try for yourself.
Colorful Beet Salad with Carrot, Quinoa & Spinach
½ cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed
1 cup frozen organic edamame
⅓ cup slivered almonds or pepitas (green pumpkin seeds)
1 medium raw beet, peeled
1 medium-to-large carrot (or 1 additional medium beet), peeled
2 cups packed baby spinach or arugula, roughly chopped
1 avocado, cubed
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint or cilantro
2 tablespoons honey or maple syrup or agave nectar
½ to 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard, to taste
¼ teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1. To cook the quinoa: First, rinse the quinoa in a fine mesh colander under running water for a minute or two. In a medium-sized pot, combine the rinsed quinoa and 1 cup water. Bring the mixture to a gentle boil, then cover the pot, reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes. Remove the quinoa from heat and let it rest, still covered, for 5 minutes. Uncover the pot, drain off any excess water and fluff the quinoa with a fork. Set it aside to cool.
2. To cook the edamame: Bring a pot of water to boil, then add the frozen edamame and cook just until the beans are warmed through, about 5 minutes. Drain and set aside.
3. To toast the almonds or pepitas: In a small skillet over medium heat, toast the almonds or pepitas, stirring frequently, until they are fragrant and starting to turn golden on the edges, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a large serving bowl to cool.
4. To prepare the beet(s) and/or carrot: Chop them as finely as possible using a sharp chef’s knife OR grate them on a box grater.
5. To prepare the vinaigrette: Whisk together all of the ingredients until emulsified.
6. To assemble the salad: In your large serving bowl, combine the toasted almonds/pepitas, cooked edamame, prepared beet(s) and/or carrot, roughly chopped spinach/arugula (see note above about leftovers), cubed avocado and cooked quinoa.
7. Finally, drizzle dressing over the mixture (you might not need all of it) and gently toss to combine. You’ll end up with a pink salad if you toss it really well! Season to taste with salt (up to an additional ¼ teaspoon) and black pepper. Serve.
Try any and all of the practices from above that inspire you and see what it does for your internal love and appreciation meter. No act is too small and I like to stick with the moto, that when in doubt, spread the love.
Recipe modified from: https://cookieandkate.com/2015/raw-beet-salad-with-carrot-quinoa-spinach/