Hi everyone. Happy Valentine’s Day!
Today’s that special day filled with love, a day filled with cards and often a box of chocolates. I think that’s fantastic, and if anybody wants to send me one, I’d love it.
I want you to think about ways that we can really be inclusive to those people in our communities on this special day. Ways that we can really reach out to build that inclusion. I can give you two or three thoughts here of some ways to really build mental health as a long-term Valentine’s Day present that can go a lot longer than that box of Chocolate.
So first, thinking about family and friends, those are excellent. That’s the way to go. But, there might be people in your community, a new neighbor, somebody who you know who has just lost someone. Somebody that has just gotten divorced. Someone who is having a rough time and might not have anybody to reach out to them.
This could be that day, that special day where you could reach out to them and say, “hey, just thinking of you, is there anything you need?” That’s a kind of balanced time they love that really can make a difference.
Second, there might be ways that you can do something like this in a long-term way in your neighborhood, in your community.
For example, the Community Emergency Response Teams, “the CERT teams.” They show love right after there is a disaster event and beforehand in doing disaster preparedness work. You could reach out and find out if there is an organization there in your own community, so you could just check out. See if that might be a way that you could show some Valentine’s Day love all year long. Contact the fire department. They might give you some ideas of where you could get involved.
Build Social Connections
And the third thing that might be really important is there’s a lot of people in our neighborhoods, in our communities who are really sitting outside of that traditional system, the unhoused, the people who don’t really have those social connections, who aren’t really going to have people who are going to reach out to them or can even find them to reach out to them.
There might be a way that you could step outside of your comfort zone and somehow reach out to that community one way or the other. Do something that might surprise you, something that might be a nice gift for you to give them. It could be a hello. It could be a greeting. It could be stopping on the side of the road. It could be giving them something that they might really appreciate.
I remember three years ago, I still remember to this day; I got on a bus, I take a bus to work every day, and I got on the bus and the bus driver reached out and gave me a couple of those little hearts and that have a little saying on them. And he looked at me, and he smiled, and he said, “Happy Valentine’s Day.” Wow, that has stayed with me to this day.
Think about ways that you could give somebody just a little seed of support. That is a really special thing to do on Valentine’s Day, in addition to those cards and those boxes of chocolates.
That’s the kind of way we can build resilience; we can build that connection, we can build that stronger social fabric, and we can create Inclusive Emergency Management.
So, in the meantime, I wish you a happy Valentine’s Day, and I’ll talk to you soon.