Hearts made with string mounted on wood planks

Spread the Love

Love is in the air! While social media gives us all an opportunity to keep in touch and check in with our loved ones, it doesn’t always allow us to truly show love to our friends and family. A little extra effort can go a long way with the people you love, and small acts of affection throughout the year can have a huge impact!

  • For Your Military “Framily”: Many military friendships are known for their deep, shared understanding of military life, its challenges and rewards. These relationships can endure years of long distance, and when you next connect it’s as if no time or distance has passed.
    • Handwrite a note. Using pen and paper can convey more than a text, social media post or email. For better or worse, your handwriting has your essence, effort and emotion etched into it. You’ll be amazed at the reaction it will evoke in your friends.
    • Chat it up. If leave and savings don’t allow you to see one another in person, schedule a time to enjoy coffee and a video chat remotely.
    • Phone a friend. I know, I’m not a phone person either. But, the inflections of a dear friend’s voice and the joy their laughter brings is more than an LOL will ever convey.
  • For Your Extended Family: Keep family close, or mend fences, by thanking them for how they have helped/supported you through the years.
    • Send a thank you card. Handwrite a short note to thank a family member for something they did that helped you when you were growing up (or something recent). Gratitude is powerful. Use it early and often.
    • Phone home. Those who nurtured us deserve time in our current lives and gratitude for all they did. Set up a weekly call (it can be brief) and catch up with how everyone. You can make this a video call if you both have that capability.
  • For Your Children: Kids don’t always know how we feel, even though we think they should. Try a few of these ideas to remind them how very loved they are.
    • Hide love-you notes. Use 3×5 cards to write one thing (per card) that you love about your child. Fold it and put their name on the outside. Tuck the note in their bathroom mirror, sock drawer or in their shoe.
    • Snail mail. Kids love getting mail. It makes them feel special. Write a letter that tells them what makes them unique or what you truly appreciate about them. Share something about your childhood that they didn’t already know.
    • Send them on a scavenger hunt. Your handwritten clues should lead your child to a hidden envelope with an invitation for a date with you (movies, bowling, etc.). Kids value time with you more than most other things.
  • For Your Significant Other: Sometimes we neglect the ones closest to us as we tend to our children, home, work, etc. It’s important to remember that our first loves need some attention, too.
    • Grab a pad of sticky notes and write what you love about your significant other. Stick the notes on the bathroom mirror, microwave, coffee maker, briefcase, steering wheel, etc.
    • Dial their number. Call your significant other and ask them out on a date. Bonus points if you refrain from using your phones while you’re out!
    • Exchange love letters. Start writing and mailing love letters to one another. Sometimes it’s easier to express yourself in writing than words.

Going the extra mile to make personal connections with the people you love the most can be so valuable. Who will you take the extra step to connect with this year?

Julie Dymon
Written By Julie Dymon
Navy spouse

Julie raised her family through PCSes, deployments, earthquakes and hurricanes during her 12 years as a Navy spouse. Give her a cookie — for real.

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