It’s not all about Red Hearts, Roses and Romance.

For many people, the “Month of Love” is a triggering month as so many people celebrate Valentine's Day and focus on romance, relationships, and gifts. Personally, I feel that the focus should be shifted, and more emphasis should be placed on oneself and those around us.

Now more than ever, we need to take care of ourselves and of those with whom we engage on a daily basis. We never know how our employees, family members, and friends are feeling, and a little bit of love and kindness shown to them can make all the difference to change an individual’s perspective from negative to positive.

Firstly, start with yourself and stop focusing on that date…. 14th February. Rather focus on the entire month where you commit to “loving yourself” and those near and dear to you, whilst practicing a daily self-care routine.

  • Wake up and stretch. Set your alarm about 10 minutes earlier than usual and stretch your entire body, and just get moving! Your body will react positively both physically and mentally.

  • Eat a good healthy breakfast. Avocado on rye toast is a good choice as this delicious treat contains vitamin B5 which assists in the healthy functioning of the nervous system. They are also rich in stress-relieving vitamin B6, so this tasty meal could influence your mood. As an employer, gifting your staff a company-branded lunch box, with a fresh and tasty Avo sandwich, will not only create wonderful brand awareness but will also make the recipients feel cared for and appreciated. Why not make February your Health and Wellness month and move the focus away from the more commercial Valentine’s Day on the 14th.

  • Travel to work & entertain yourself. Switch off the bad news and choose to listen to some lovely calming music or commit to using this time to meditate as the traffic itself is enough to create stress. There are many apps like which you can try. Maybe as an employer, you can mail your team a link to this, provide them with some company-branded headphones, and allow them 15 minutes per day to practice self-care and mediate.

  • Treat yourself with something you love this Valentine's month by gifting yourself something special. How about a beautiful pamper set with essential oils and a diffuser? The benefits of essential oils are many. Your mood may be boosted, they help to improve your job performance through reduced stress and increased attentiveness. They kill some bacteria & viruses, improve sleep, reduce nausea, and relieve headaches to mention but a few. What a great idea for employers to show some love, by gifting their employees an essential oil or two with a diffuser. Not only will they feel appreciated, but their work performance may just improve too.

  • During your lunch hour, why not destress yourself. Adult colouring books, puzzles, and crosswords can be a fun way to give your mind a break from the stress of work and daily life. Staff in large corporations often have canteens where staff gather for lunch. What a great idea for employers to leave a pile of adult puzzle or colouring books on the tables, with branded crayons, to encourage the staff to destress. Should staff be working remotely, a package with a book, crayons and a special message of affirmation will go a very long way.

  • After work put the phone away and take out a journal or diary. Did anything stressful occur at work and did anything positive happen. Jot all these down as it has been proven that writing down positive events solidifies them in the memory and even the stressful events, written down, have a positive effect. Rather than holding on to a negative event in one’s head, mulling it over and over, writing it down gives one a different view and can help negate the impact it has on one. From an employer’s point of view, happy staff increase productivity, so gifting the staff a company-branded notepad, with instructions could be just the thing needed for all. Encourage the staff to write down 1 positive and 1 negative thing that happened to them during their workday. At the next meeting, these can be collected and discussed, to avoid issues escalating into serious issues.

  • Dinner is a good time to have fun. Slow things down, move away from the quick fix of junk food, and cook yourself something you love. Pick up the ingredients after work and take the time to read the recipe, whilst listening to lovely music. Once the meal is ready, sit down and enjoy, using all your senses. The look, the smell, and the taste all play a part in this lovely experience. Slow down the meal, by eating with chopsticks, or using your non-dominant hand. The slower you eat, the fuller you feel, and this too is beneficial to your health as gobbling your food down, can lead to indigestion.

Maybe this meal evokes a happy memory and brings a smile to your face. A lovely way in which to create and enhance employee engagement is to include a recipe swop campaign amongst staff, within the month of February, possibly the Health & Wellness Month. Encourage all to share their favourite recipes and on the last Friday of the month, have an event, where everyone brings the meal, they have cooked at home, to share with their colleagues. Create some excitement by providing company-branded aprons, for everyone and taking a group picture, which can be shared on social media platforms.

  • Bedtime, turn it off. After a lovely warm bath or shower, smother yourself in gorgeous smelling body oils or cream and enjoy pampering yourself. Make the month of February the month to turn off social media an hour before bed. This encourages better sleep and helps to calm and wind down for the day. Turn the phone off and grab that book you have been meaning to read or do a crossword puzzle. Great sleep is vital for good health and productivity, so as a concerned employer, a lovely sleep-time pamper box for employees may just be the thing both you and your staff need. “Sleep matters. You matter. So invest in rest with a collection formulated with lavender and chamomile to aid sleep and relaxation “

  • No matter what you choose to do this February, end each day by checking in with yourself. How have you treated yourself and those around you? What was the impact on your body and your mental health? How have others been impacted by your actions? How have your actions impacted our earth? Are you making eco-friendly choices and encouraging this at work too?

Yes, February should remain the month of love, but please no more fuzzy red-hearted teddy bears, ridiculously priced red roses, exorbitant dinners, and HUGE expectations resulting in even bigger disappointments. You are NOT defined by one Valentine’s Day card or gift, but by your daily actions and treatment of those around you. A smile for the homeless man, a kind word to the teller at your local grocer, a visit to the old age home to chat and listen to the aged, a gift of dog food to the local animal shelter, or just the gesture of paying for a few basic groceries for that tired mother of three, in front of you in the queue, can make a massive difference to yourself and others.

Contact us should you need assistance with your Month of Love gifting ideas.

Thank you for your time and please visit our website for more ideas and information.

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