Love is an action verb. If you care for someone, you need to make love. When someone is going through a difficult time—illness, emotional trauma, or financial woes—they need your support more than ever.
It’s easy to utter streams of words:
“Let me know if you need anything.”
“I’m here for you if you need anything.”
“You can call me if you need to chat.”
“I’ll go with you to the doctor [insert appropriate word] if you want.”
While these phrases sound supportive and loving, they often don’t put love into action. When someone is experiencing some of their darkest days, they are not likely to reach out to another. They wait in hope of someone just DOING. They require others to infuse hope. Mahatma Gandhi recognized that someone experiencing turmoil needs love: “Where there is love there is life.
Take a moment to reflect before proceeding. Do you merely speak love or do make love?
Here are some suggestions on how you can show someone you care by making love, putting love into action:
- Send a card.
- Text a “thinking of you” message.
- Send an uplifting email.
- Do a load of laundry.
- Clean the house.
- Provide a ride.
- Send flowers.
- Bring over a favorite beverage.
- Cook a meal.
- Send a scratch off Lottery Ticket (if of age).
- Drop off a basket filled with produce (organic is best!).
- Be a shoulder to cry on.
- Listen, don’t judge.
- Send a gift card for groceries (Thrive Market, VitalChoice, US Wellness Meats, and Whole Foods are great healthy options).
- Send toll, gas, or parking money for the long trips to specialty hospitals.
- Give a book or gift card.
- Give a comedy DVD or rent one and bring it over (Here are some suggestions).
- Bring over a bag of household necessities (i.e. paper towels, toilet paper, and tissues).
- Give a hug and kiss.
- Create a collage with magazine clippings of all things that remind you of the person.
- Call and leave a message, regardless of how many attempts you’ve made to actually speak to the person but always was directed to the voicemail.
- Draw a picture for the person.
- Take the person for a ride (if capable) or sit with the person.
- Write a poem for the person.
- Read to the person.
- Show up at the doctor’s office for support (if you’re afraid you won’t know where to go, be resourceful—search for building janitorial staff for help or get off at every floor until you find the office).
- Drop off balloons.
- Make a playlist with uplifting songs.
- Schedule a massage for the person.
- Pay a bill ahead of time so that when the person goes to pay it’s already taken care of.
- Bring the car to be serviced.
- Shovel snow.
- Bring over a cozy blanket.
- Cut out inspiring quotes and place them on a poster board or a corkboard.
- Make a photo book with pictures that capture happy memories.
- Create a photo slideshow with music in the background.
- Mow the lawn.
- Plant flowers.
- Put together a pampering package (some suggestions include body scrub, shampoo, towel and washcloth, towel warmer, self-massager, and slippers).
- Take the dog for a walk.
- Go to the Post Office to send out mailings.
- Do chores for the primary caregiver so that they can spend quality time with their loved one.
- Subscribe the person to a magazine of interest.
- Make phone calls for the person.
- Send a bookmark.
- Give a journal (you can purchase one or simply decorate the outside of a composition book purchased from the dollar store).
- Send a fancy pen.
- Record yourself telling jokes (laughter is the best medicine!).
- Bring a green juice.
- Record your favorite memories on little pieces of paper (even better if you decorate them) and place them in a special box.
- Connect with the person by giving a home foot massage or back rub.
- Write a love note to the person.
- Light a candle in honor of the person.
- Bring the person’s favorite place to their home (i.e. beach: bring sand, shells, set up beach chairs, and provide body lotion; rainforest: create a mural, play a rainforest music meditation, decorate the room with toy rainforest creatures and plant life; movie theater: set up a projector to show a film on the wall, make some healthy treats, dim the lights, and enjoy a fun film).
- Send an iTunes gift card.
- Brush the person’s hair.
- Write and record a guided meditation for the person.
- Ask the person what they want to learn, and bring the materials to do it with them (i.e. speak a new language, knit, or bake).
- Play a game with the person.
- Dance with the person.
- Make a homemade lavender pillow spray.
- Pick out a new pair of pajamas for the person.
- Send the person a hairclip or hat.
- Make a pot of soup.
- Perform a spiritual act such as praying or having a Mass said in honor of the person (align your act with the person’s faith).
- Record yourself telling a story or favorite memories of being with the person.
- Make a gratitude list with the person and place it in a visible place.
- Throw a themed party just for fun (i.e. luau, tea party, Oscars party).
- Give your time.
- Tweet or Facebook message a kind comment to the person.
- Decorate the mirror with positive statements on sticky notes.
- Bring the person an indoor herb garden.
- Share with the person five positive qualities that you admire about them.
- Plant a tree or name a star in the person’s honor.
- Wash the person’s car.
Bonus: Clean out the refrigerator and/or pantry and restock it.
See, it’s not difficult to make love. But you can’t wait for the invitation. Making love requires that you TAKE initiative. And although it might not be comfortable to think about, no one is immune to difficult times. So use the love you’ve received to open your heart and make love.
Love is magical * Love fuels life * Love heals.
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How will you make love today? Share in the comments below!