Dr. Susan Bettis, Director of Training & Clinical Services who oversees our counseling program, offers reflections and mental health tips for Valentine’s Day and beyond.
Ah, Valentine’s Day, the day we express our love. For those of you who know the history of Valentine’s Day, you know that it has little to do with love, but spare yourself the gory details; don’t Google it. The day where romantic love is expressed, love of family is acknowledged, and children are subjected to the obligatory card exchange in their classrooms with one kid always getting left out. It is a day when flowers are given, chocolates received, and booked up restaurants serve special meals.
A wise woman once advised me to define myself not by what I do but by what I love. The old proverb “living well is the best revenge” may have been better stated “loving well is the best revenge.” Living well may kill you, loving well has less of a chance. Humor aside, the rosy glow of feeling deeply with love is far more portable and, perhaps, intense. It has also been shown to improve your health profile immensely.
How might we implement this in big and small ways? Here are six ideas to get your started:
- Spend some time in quiet meditation where you focus on the who, what, and where of those parts of your life that fit in this category. If you want an operational definition of love, think about what you are most grateful for.
- Tell your favorite clerk at the drive up or check out, “I am glad to see you here today.”
- Tell a special friend how glad you are that they are in your world.
- Got a good boss? Tell her so.
- Forgive your little brown eyed pet who just left a reminder of their existence for you on the carpet.
- And if you are lucky enough to have a significant other with whom things have that wonderful status of allowing you to take each other for granted; don’t.
For more information about the mental health counseling services offered at William Temple House, including couples and family counseling, contact Dr. Bettis at 503.226.3021 ext. 220.