You can express your love for your family, friends and significant other in many ways. You may do so through spoken or written words. You can also demonstrate your appreciation for a loved one through gifts, from the typical flowers to their favourite objects. Your parents, siblings or spouse will appreciate your efforts, however simple.

Most people would do these things on special occasions, such as birthdays, anniversaries and holidays. For many couples in the UK, that holiday is usually Valentine’s Day, when sending boxes of luxurious chocolates as gifts would be the norm.

You needn’t wait for such special occasions to show your love or appreciation to someone. Sometimes, the unexpected demonstration of affection on an ordinary day can have more lasting results than a grand show on Valentine’s Day.

How do you express your love without spending too much? Here are some ideas.

Sending love notes

child giving mom a kissOne of the five love languages is through words of affirmation. Writing your loved ones notes that say you appreciate them is one way to boost their mood, and probably reduce the stress of their day. Mention specific things or characteristics you find in them which make you adore them or love them more. You can be as creative as you like and go traditional, using calligraphy on textured paper or modern, using quirky text messages throughout the day.

Giving simple gifts

This is a common way to tell your beloved that you’re thinking about them, and you’ve acted upon those thoughts with a simple gesture: a gift he or she will love. Your gift doesn’t have to be expensive or unique; it just has to be unexpected and, even better, useful for what they need to do during the day.

For instance, you could book your parent or spouse an appointment at a spa or barbershop. You can also simply buy them lunch and drop it off at their office.

Spending quality time with each other

Giving undivided attention to your significant other is important, especially in an era when digital devices have taken hold of people’s lives. Whether you’re in the tube or out on the street, you’ll always see people on their mobile phones or tablets. And this is even when they’re with other people. As such, it is refreshing to see couples, friends and families truly engaged with one another over drinks or meals.

Spending quality time with your loved ones is crucial to your health as well, not just to the quality of your relationship. With long working hours and the ‘always on’ office wherein your boss could call or email you about a project at any time, you’re likely to neglect time with family and friends. And this puts a strain on your health.

So focus on being with your loved ones.

Try hugs and kisses

Showing affection is essential. You can’t just say you love someone; you have to commit to it and show your love. This is especially important for children who respond to your touch and interpret it as protection, security . . .  love.

Did you know that tactile stimulation allows the release of oxytocin, the love hormone, in the body? When you touch your parent, spouse or child, you may be alleviating their stress, reducing pain and enhancing their attentiveness. From kissing and hugging to handshakes and fist bumps, touch is a human necessity that can have health benefits.

Showing your love or appreciation for someone doesn’t have to be limited on special occasions. Start demonstrating everyday affection, and watch how your relationships improve.