This Love Note Day, it is important to remember that love can be shown and expressed in multiple ways. This can be platonic, familial, relational, or self love. As intense as our emotions can be, we often forget to remind others and ourselves of the love we feel. While this is understandable and can be harmless to a degree, it can also be damaging to our relationships. Writing love notes can be a great way to rekindle these feelings towards the things and people that make us feel good.
An art form that started centuries ago, letter writing — both formal and informal — was heavily practiced in ancient Rome, Egypt, and India (Boyle, 2022). In particular, love notes have changed over the years in their content and form, but the intention remains the same — to communicate one’s deepest, most powerful emotions in a beautiful, poetic way. It goes without saying that such a gesture can make the person on the receiving end feel wonderful, but taking time out to verbalize and focus on what we are grateful for also improves and maintains our own social and emotional well-being (Jans-Beken et al., 2020).
This year, we encourage you to intentionally practice any of the following activities to express love and gratitude to yourself and/or others:
Send a handwritten love note!
Whether you want to send a love note to yourself or someone else, try to handwrite it to make it feel extra special. Giving yourself time to disconnect from technology by using your hands and zoning in on a task will likely improve your mood too.
Make a mixtape or a playlist.
Some of us might feel less comfortable verbalizing our emotions. It might feel more fitting to use the words of others — this is perfectly okay too! A love note can be whatever you want it to be.
Record a love note!
For a personal touch, you could record yourself expressing these emotions towards yourself or another. This might make it easier to revisit this in the future and recall your happy memories!
By: Nethra Palepu
Mental Health Counseling Intern