As Valentine’s Day approaches, the delight is palpable. What used to be the feast day of St Valentine, patron lovers and beekeepers evolved to being a day on which you send a card or gift to someone you love, often anonymously.
Now Valentine’s Day has become a day on which we show love, for that special person, friends and family and even teachers and colleagues. We asked three of Signium Africa’s directors what Valentine’s Day means to them and we’re loving the responses.
Director of Assessments and Industrial Psychologist: Michelle Moss, says the day is about love, and in this time of a global pandemic, suggests “self-love” would be a valuable way to spend it.
“Very often we share kindness and compassion with others and neglect to include ourselves. We speak to ourselves far more harshly than we’d speak to friends and forget that we can’t keep giving love without ever replenishing it.”
Michelle’s tips for a self-loving Valentine’s Day include being aware of how we feel; not taking on too much work because we don’t set boundaries for ourselves; and getting stressed or annoyed with ourselves for making mistakes.
“We’re human,” she says. “Mistakes are not always bad.” Michelle’s advice for the month of love? “Remind yourself that you don’t need to be perfect to be confident, creative and productive. Give yourself a treat that helps you balance your physical, mental and spiritual aspects, like a yoga class or a picnic with a friend. Write a gratitude list before you start your day and you’ll set the tone for a thankful event.”
Director of Executive Search, Annelize van Rensburg says Valentine’s Day is a good reminder of empathy; how we should fill our hearts with kindness during these difficult times and actively disengage from criticism and self-centeredness.
“Self-awareness is key, and sparing a thought or doing a good deed for the many around us who have little to be grateful for can make a huge difference to how we feel about ourselves.”
Starting the day with meditation really makes a difference, she says, and quietly contemplating how we can uplift others would make the day a truly special one.
“No two people are the same, so everyone’s view on what Valentine’s Day means can be different and perfect for them. Chocolates and flowers are nice, but a day filled with compassion, acts of kindness and humour is likely to be remembered for years after the gifts are gone.”
Mosimo Selekisho, Director: Executive Search at Signium Africa suggests we look at a different purpose for a day that celebrates love. “I celebrate my love of humanity,” she says. “Valentine’s Day this year should be about gratitude and thanks for God’s power.”
If we live every day with graciousness in our hearts, Masimo says, we find it easy to extend a helping hand where it is needed. “Right now, it is needed all over the world, and being conscious of that would pay tribute to the power of love Valentine’s Day can remind us of.”
She notes that loving people has little to do with intellect, and that we should trust our instincts, which will always lead us to doing the right thing for ourselves and others.
“This year, I’ll use Valentine’s Day to forgive myself and others for feeling uncertain about the future and remind myself that I am not in charge. I am, however, able to be grateful for every day that I survive at a time when others don’t. Humanity. Loving humanity is what Valentine’s Day will be about for me.”
Whether you get flowers and chocolates from your love or admirer, or send a secret donation to a charity to mark Valentine’s Day, we wish you all a lovely, thoughtful, happy one. Think. Act. Love!