What’s Love Got to Do with It? A Lot, Actually

Matters of the heart truly matter for your health

There is a reason love has been revered for all of history—it is an emotion that drives humans to feel, to create, to protect, to fight, to sacrifice, to dream—in short, it holds a power that is unimaginable and immeasurable, and it continues to fascinate us and make this world livable. This power is not always recognized in the world of health and wellness, but it most assuredly plays a large role, and this is beginning to be understood more widely in the medical community. Studies continue to demonstrate that love and the sense of connection that comes with it is a key component in the quality and longevity of human life. In honor of the month of love, we discuss this complex emotion, and how to harness it in the various relationships of your life—including the one with yourself. Happy Valentine’s Day to all!


Guess How Much I Love You

This classic children’s book shows the sweet competition of love between child and parent, and may even bring back memories from your own childhood.

Product: box of chocolates

There are some traditions that shouldn’t be replaced, and a box of chocolates on Valentine’s Day is one of them!

Essential oil: Rose

Diffuse some rose EO in your home throughout February for a romantic and soothing scent. Some studies indicate that rose oil can ease pain and decrease stress.

That’s The Power of Love

Love’s impact is not to be underestimated

Countless poems have been written about it; endless songs have been sung about it; and apparently, 29 emojis containing hearts have been created to express this one timeless, enduring emotion: Love.

It’s no wonder that humans use a variety of artistic avenues in an attempt to express what they feel is a unique and unmatchable feeling – the English language has a limited vernacular for describing love with a single word, and yet its range of meaning is vast. The love someone feels for a romantic partner is different than the love they feel for their Stanley 40 oz tumbler (one would hope). The love many feel for a sunny, warm beach is nothing like the love a parent feels for their child.

It would be challenging to argue that experiencing love, regardless of to whom or what it’s aimed, generally makes us feel good. As humans, we naturally seek it, and we grieve it when it feels lost. When our hearts feel full of love (without loss), we feel exceptionally alive and full of joy. Turns out, love is actually an integral part of our health. Research indicates that feelings of love—in other words, of connection—can strengthen immunity, improve mental and emotional well-being and literally improve heart health by lowering blood pressure and reducing levels of stress and anxiety.

Love comes in many forms, and romantic or even familial love are not the only type that are beneficial. The following forms of love are just as vital to our health and happiness and deserve closer consideration:


It’s no longer a societal taboo in our country to encourage self-love; its message is splattered all over social platforms and in the entertainment industry. Although it still feels unnatural to many, loving yourself and giving yourself grace is important to developing healthy self-esteem and respect. However, the cultural narrative also tends to depict the process of self-love as being glamorous, even perfect. This can be damaging and counterproductive.

    Self-love is not only reserved for those who wake at 5am to practice yoga, meditate, juice themselves a green concoction and high-five their flawless perfection in the mirror. True self-love requires developing an appreciation for yourself by acting in a way that supports your physical, psychological and spiritual well-being. Prioritizing your health and happiness does not always look Pinterest-worthy, and should not mean adopting an attitude of narcissism.

    Love towards strangers

    Don’t feel your heart fill with warmth and gratitude when a stranger cuts you off in traffic? Good, that means you’re still human. It would take an other-worldly individual to feel appreciation and fondness for said stranger. Realistically, what it may look like to exhibit love towards those we don’t personally know can come in the simplest of ways: a smile; a “thank you”; or a kind gesture such as holding a door open as someone passes. It really can be enough to turn someone’s whole day around, and just imagine what a world it could be if everyone passed along the kindnesses shown to them.

    Love in the workplace

    While the Covid-19 pandemic eradicated many in-person work environments, many still exist, and tensions within them can often mount to due a variety of factors. Whether you interact with co-workers via Zoom or in person, consider making an effort to initiate more fun and appreciation among the group. A brief thank-you note to a colleague that assisted you in a project, giving a “shout out” to someone who performed a good deed or seeking connection through laughter can improve camaraderie and increase everyone’s productivity and creativity.


Celebrate Love with Your Loves!

V-Day ideas to honor love while benefitting child development

Self-Love Sweethearts

Generate your own original Sweetheart messages by encouraging your child to write things that make them special on cutouts of hearts (i.e., “I am talented”; “My smile is beautiful”). It helps teach the importance of loving and appreciating yourself!

Fine Motor Art

Hone your little one’s fine motor skills through a variety of Valentine’s Day themed crafts and activities. Provide broken crayons (broken crayons encourage more appropriate writing grasp), supervise the use of scissors to cut paper hearts, and model use of appropriate pincer grasp to pinch glitter and sprinkle over works of art.

Giving Compliments

Help improve your child’s social-pragmatic skills by helping them generate compliments to describe and deliver to others.

Sequencing Steps

Bake something yummy (think: heart-shaped pizzas; frosted cookies; cupcakes with pink and red sprinkles) and provide “first, next, last” instructions to your child as they help you prepare and combine the ingredients to improve comprehension and execution of sequencing skills.

Putting the “In” in Valentine’s Day

Avoid the crowds and create your own family fun

Valentine’s Day is almost here, and for parents of young children and/or children who require specialized care, a romantic date night at a fancy restaurant is not always in the cards. Responsibilities aside, parents often don’t even have the energy at the end of the day to dress up and head out, even if they do have outside help!

This year, consider the following low-maintenance ideas to enjoy a meaningful day with your loved ones:

Make valentines and deliver them in neighbors’ mailboxes

Bonus points for placing anonymous valentines in the mailboxes of neighbors you don’t even know. It could light up their whole day!

Have a family movie night

Smart TVs make it easy to search specific categories of movies—search “family love movies” and see what options appeal to your child’s age range. Some choices to consider: Be My Valentine, Charlie Brown; Charlotte’s Web; Gnomeo and Juliet; Lady and the Tramp; and The Princess Bride.

Read a love-themed bedtime story

Hit up the library or peruse your child’s own book collection to find love-themed tales to get in the spirit. Some good options: Guess How Much I Love You; The Invisible String; Love You Forever; Llama Llama I Love You; In My Heart; and I Like Myself.

Order in

Self-love often looks like taking the burden of cooking off your shoulders. Make Valentine’s Day your excuse to order in whatever form of take-out floats your boat.

Content of this newsletter was written by:
Megan A. Miller, M.S., CCC-SLP

Please contact Megan with any questions or comments at: megan@ctctherapy.com