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How I love to love: Not just on Valentine’s Day

I will admit that I use the word ‘love’ a lot. I get enthusiastic about things and I’m prone to find the positive in most situations. I write it frequently in emails and you’ll often see a red heart emoji in my text messages. So, while it rolls off the tongue very naturally, I try to keep in mind that it can be over-used. I’m aware that it might diminish the real sentiment I’m expressing if I love everything.

For me, it’s an expression of joy, gratitude, and happiness. I feel there’s a lot of that in my life, though I certainly have my challenges. As we near Valentine’s Day, a time when even the most reserved open up to express their feelings, I realize many are feeling isolated, burnt out, and lonely. We can’t ignore or minimize the impact that feeling of overwhelm has on everyday life.

My hope is that we can find balance, knowing that during any phase of our lives, we will have joy and challenges, perhaps not in equal balance. The bumps we hit are natural. They are a way for us to re-direct, change, or stretch beyond our comfort zones.

Sometimes it takes compromise

Zuzu Valentines' DayThere is no more constant reminder to me than our active, young rescue dog, Zuzu. Her natural prey instincts are to chase, bark, and jump. This creates frustration (for her and us!) at any moment of any day, given that generally my husband and I enjoy a quiet, calm, and peaceful home life. We want her to enjoy the things that she loves – the thrill of the squirrel chase and the excitement of a walk.

Yet barking episodes and leash lunging are not fun. It requires that we work hard to find a compromise. That requires new skills, a willingness to work together, and lots of patience and understanding about the needs of each other.

Our work styles matter

That’s the same scenario as two co-workers who must find ways to work together, despite differences of priorities and work styles. Each party needs to spend time and energy to understand how the other processes information and what they need in order to make decisions or move forward with a project.

Do they like to work alone or collaborate? Would they prefer guidance or only get direction on the big picture objectives? The way in which we work matters – not just for the outcomes but for the ease (or frustration and stress) we experience in the moment.

How healing and self-care help all of us

Lately, I’ve been listening to the work of author Britt Andreatta, a thought leader in brain science who combines passion and research to help all of us navigate these challenging times. Her message is not only about how managers can help those on their teams but also about how self-care comes first.

She has an upcoming webinar on March 9, where she will outline Tips and Tools to Heal from Burnout. I have already registered and I encourage anyone interested in the topic to join in.

Let’s find ways to help each other – through good times and challenging ones. Perhaps this Valentine’s Day will give you the opportunity to feel and express the joy in your life. I would love that.



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