February, the month of Valentine’s Day, is known for love and passion. There are various theories of the origins of Valentine’s Day, but what is known is that the ancient Romans celebrated an analogue holiday with a spring festival coinciding with the feast of Lupercalia. The titular Valentine was a Christian martyr of the fifth century, but it was the famous poet Chaucer who linked his name to the themes of romance and passion. But passion is not simply love for another being. Passion is so much more complex. It can be felt when pursuing a career. Taking up a hobby. Pursuing a cause. Be passionate this month, and meditate on how to implement this into your daily life. Passions can cross borders and connect people across the world. Join a local group to learn more about your passion, and meet others with the same passion for what you love!
A great way to practice self-love this month would be to freshen up your meal plan. Don’t simply follow a recipe; alter it. Half the serving size of this caesar-kale salad with roasted onions and ricotta salata to accompany an entrée or use it as the main course for lunch or dinner to enhance the lunch go-to. If you love French food, then you’re going to love Bon Appetit’s instant pot coq-au-vin. If you’re unfamiliar, it’s a classic French stew that normally takes hours in the oven, but this only takes 15 minutes! For dessert, we recommend Food52’s greek yogurt chocolate mousse, a “healthy” take on a delectable classic. It’s perfect for a night in with loved ones.
There are many holidays that mark February, the second month of the new year. February 2 is Groundhog Day- an American myth where if the groundhog sees his shadow, spring will come early, but if he does not, winter will last another 6 weeks. As most know, February 14 marks Valentine’s Day. If you are not with a loved one, try and do something kind for yourself or do a kind gesture for others who may not be in a celebratory mood. Finally, President’s Day that lands on February 18, invites us all to remember the incredible individuals who have led our country since its inception. These passionate individuals have all had the same goal: to improve our country.
All in all, remember to pursue something you’re passionate about this month. The best things in life are sometimes the small moments when we take time to do what we love.
Photo courtesy of Jeremy Bishop via Unsplash