“There are two pillars of happiness. One is love. The other is finding a way of coping with life that does not push love away.” —Vaillant


As I consider the appropriateness of wishing you all a Happy Valentine’s Day, I’m hoping that this may be the year that we liberate this holiday from narrow and unhelpful conventions. Far too often it is the occasion for discomfort that somehow we lack the idealized romantic love suggested by all the hearts and flowers. Perhaps instead we can reimagine a celebration of all of our loving connections in the world. This exploration might include taking a look at ways we can better enjoy and nurture our important relationships. Here are three ideas.

The gift of your attention

As some of you know I have for the past 20+ years been studying and talking about how digital technologies are affecting us. As with all technologies, our well being depends on figuring out our best, healthiest relationship to these tools. Digital technologies’ special power is their ability to command our attention. This has created an imperative, and an opportunity, to learn more about how to manage our attention. My particular wish for all of us is that we give each other more moments of connection uninterrupted by that ever-present little screen. More about that on my Instagram post today:

The gift of better texting 

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Speaking of wise use, my friend and colleague, psychiatrist Mimi Winsberg, MD has just published a fascinating book, Speaking in Thumbs, about the love language of texting. Mimi points out that, “The waiting time between messages allows you to emotionally modulate before you’re giving a response to a difficult question or something that might have triggered you emotionally.” In the book she talks about how to decode, and get more understanding out of, those little texts that fly back and forth. Dr. Winsberg says, “Trends in a person’s style of texting can reveal things like how easily they open up.” Take a look at Speaking in Thumbs:

The gift of your time

Make sure that you spend your time on the things and people that matter most to you; this is your chance to put your values into practice. I recently had the pleasure of contributing to an article for Fast Company, by Stephanie Vossa, about our tendency to become too obsessed with work. Burn out isn’t just about how much time and effort our work requires, it’s also about missing out on the rest of our lives. Spend time with those you love and celebrate the true meaning of Valentine's Day. Read more:

All the best to you.


Copyright © 2022 Kathryn Ford MD, All rights reserved.