Can You Feel The Love Tonight? Five Tips for Valentine’s

Perhaps it is the fact that the Elton John song by this title is acted out by writhing cartoon animals, but Doc Gurley has always found the phrase “Can you feel the love tonight?” somewhat clinically disturbing. What if you can’t? Are we talking aekgheart.jpg sudden neuroparesis with selective sensory loss that paradoxically maintains motor control? Seems like that kind of scenario would be a romance-squasher all around.

In honor of the day of lurv, here’s a Doc Gurley Valentine’s Joy List to rekindle your tingly approach to life (partner participation welcomed, although not required). First, want to know more about the Joy Habit? Read this.

1) Name three things you love about people you see everyday. Is it the goofy grin of the grocery check-out guy? The soft cuddle of your sticky toddler? The whole body laugh of your partner? The quiet, consistent kindness of the town librarian? Gems are strewn all around us–our job is to recognize them, to stop from time to time and wipe the accumulated dust of indifference off and remember how they valuable they are.

3) Decide to change a behavior in honor of Valentine’s–just for a week. Take a mini walk on the wild side and break out of your habits. Pick something a little out of character, but not uncomfortable for you–just a little edgy. Do you want to blow air-kisses at friends when you leave them? Do you want to give up soda? Do you want to put one of those silly emoticons on your email sign-off? (Doc Gurley Tip: avoid decisions made under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or extreme sleep deprivation, and all ideas about radical change involving nudity+Internet or YouTube+altered state). Pick something new for you and dive in. Feel the jazz you get when you break out of the box just a little and prove you have the power and ability to change your world, even in small ways.

4) Take a sensory moment. As we in healthcare like to say in the resuscitation manuals–Stop, Look, and Listen. Pick a Valentine’s moment and pluck it like a flower. This is a moment in time where you deliberately pay attention to all your senses. Listen for laughter, smell the air, feel the smoothness of your hands. You are bursting with life, and the world around you seethes with energy. Take a moment to connect, and revel in your senses.

5) Do an anonymous random act of Valentine’s kindness this week. Can you leave a single rose on a girlfriend’s front porch? Put a lottery ticket in a lonely senior’s mailbox? Pay for someone’s toll? You’ll feel the love when you do (no neuroparesis involved).

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