Creative Ideas for Valentine's Day

· 737 words · about 4 minutes

The legal profession is a stressful one. An undesirable consequence of this fact is how stress from your practice can bleed into your home life. I personally have regrettably unloaded the anger I have felt for opposing counsel on my loved ones. Special care must be taken to protect our personal relationships - whether they are spousal relationships, friendships, roommates, or other family members - from the stress we carry at work. Valentine’s Day is a perfect chance to reaffirm or rebuild a relationship. To help, I have compiled a short list of creative, off-the-beaten-path activities you can share with someone special this Valentine’s Day:

Have a Playdate

As an attorney it can be difficult to loosen your shirt, throw off your tie, and just have some fun. But it turns out adults need playtime as much as children. “Play refreshes a long-term adult-adult relationship; some of the hallmarks of its refreshing, oxygenating action are: humor, the enjoyment of novelty, the capacity to share a lighthearted sense of the world’s ironies, the enjoyment of mutual storytelling , the capacity to openly divulge imagination and fantasies, … These playful communications and interactions, when nourished, produce a climate for easy connection and deepening, more rewarding relationship – true intimacy,” according to the National Institute for Play. So, turn your date this Valentine’s Day into a playdate. (Further Reading: The Art of Play: Helping Adults Reclaim Imagination and Spontaneity.)

Read Aloud

It’s not only kids who benefit from reading stories aloud; adults have something to gain from the activity as well. “Reading aloud recaptures the physicality of words,” according to Verlyn Klinkenborg at the New York Times. “To read with your lungs and diaphragm, with your tongue and lips, is very different than reading with your eyes alone. The language becomes a part of the body, which is why there is always a curious tenderness, almost an erotic quality, in those 18th- and 19th-century literary scenes where a book is being read aloud in mixed company. The words are not mere words. They are the breath and mind, perhaps even the soul, of the person who is reading.” (Suggested Reading: Invisible Cities by Italo Calvino.)

Dance

Dancing is one of those things that you never need to do (and rarely something you actually want to do). But it turns out that dancing actually has proven, positive mental and physical health benefits. Dancing can communicate a person’s emotions in ways that words cannot, including feelings of love. This Valentine’s Day grab your partner and do-si-do. You needn’t pay an outrageous cover charge for a fancy night club or ballroom. Just pull of your socks and boogie on your kitchen floor. (Suggested Listening: NOW That's What I Call Dance Classics.)

Sing Together

I am obsessed with Smule – a karaoke app. The Google Play Store describes Smule like this: “With Smule, you can sing and make music with friends and fans around the world! Karaoke solo or duet with people across the globe. Sing duets with major artists like Ed Sheeran and Luis Fonsi. Sing a cappella, solo or with a group. Dance or play along to top hits. Use audio effects and video filters while singing your favorite karaoke songs. You can even sing LIVE for friends and fans. Try it free!” Much like dancing, singing is a way to express feelings that can only be described in song. And with Smule you can sing in person with loved ones or even with those who you are in a long-distanced relationship with.

Be Alone

If you are unattached this Valentine’s Day, then take the opportunity to nature the relationship you share with yourself. Spending time alone is important for your health. According to Psychology Today, solitude:

  • Allows you to reboot your brain and unwind
  • Helps to improve concentration and increase productivity
  • Creates an opportunity to discover yourself and find your own voice
  • Creates time for deep thinking
  • Can enhance the quality of your relationships with others

By spending time with yourself and gaining a better understanding of who you are and what you desire in life, you're more likely to make better choices about who you want to be around. You also may come to appreciate your relationships more after you've spent some time alone. (Suggested reading: Braving the Wilderness by Brene Brown.)



Tristan McCallis is the pen name for an attorney who authors articles on the legal profession. He can be contacted at TristanMcCallis@gmail.com