By: May “Mosaic” Advincula, Staff Writer

As sisters of Delta Phi Lambda Sorority, Inc, we aim to exemplify our virtues in every endeavor we undertake, but that doesn’t always have to mean business 24/7. Our virtues can be applied to any aspect of our lives — especially in relationships with the people we care the most about.

Show your love to the special people in your life this month with some virtue-inspired gifts and activities. Whether you’re single or in a committed relationship, there is bound to be someone in your life that you can show some love and appreciation.

Loyalty- This virtue extends beyond being there for someone in their time of need and involves truly understanding and putting someone else’s needs before your own. Next time you notice someone in your life is overwhelmed, take the time to do something for him or her. Whether it’s helping with chores, taking him or her out for lunch or running an everyday errand, lending an extra hand when life seems too chaotic is always an appreciated gesture even if they haven’t asked for help.

Honesty- For your next gift, tell someone special 10 things you love about them. Your list can take the form of a simple letter, photo collage, video, book, etc., but taking the time to express the reasons why you love and appreciate someone demonstrates that you care and can strengthen your relationship. If you’re not too fond of making your own crafts, there are services available that can turn your project into a cool and customized gift idea (See Shutterfly.com or zazzle.com for some ideas!)

Respect- Everyone is different and embracing those differences demonstrates respect. The next time you’re hanging out with a friend, family member or significant other, pick one activity that each of you like to do that the other would not normally do on their own. For example, if you’re not so fond of the rugged outdoors, but your significant other loves camping plan a getaway to the mountains. Or if you’re into classical music, bring that special someone to a concert of your favorite artist. Introducing something new to each other serves as a reminder to keep an open mind and demonstrates that you care about a person by being willing to try something that they like to do. Who knows? You might even pick up a new hobby!

Dedication- When life gets busy, free time might seem like a fleeting luxury. Although it’s nice to have alone time, it’s also important to remember to reserve time for the people you care about too. Whether it’s dinner, getting coffee, or going to a movie, quality time is always a refreshing break from your normal “to-do.” Each week, allot yourself quality time blocks, so that it’s included in your must-do’s.

Integrity- Often characterized with honesty, integrity also involves living up to the standards that you value in your life.  In the sense of your relationships, you can encompass this virtue while building and sustaining relationships that matter to you. Whether it is demonstrating qualities such as being honest, fair, open-minded, respectful or reliable, never sell your relationships short by forgetting your values. Also take the time to know what others value in their own lives to help continue to enhance your own.

Discipline- The next time you’re looking to complete a long-term goal or activity, think about inviting someone along for the ride. Though long-term aspirations take an amount of individual discipline to complete, it helps to have that extra vein of support. Whether it’s training for a marathon or planning a big trip, bigger tasks always seem to be a bit more bearable in good company.

Academic Excellence- When it comes to those important relationships in your life and sustaining them, take the time to keep learning about those people you care about the most. Whether you have known each other for one year or 10 years, never underestimate the power of quality one-on-one time. The next time you have a one-on-one session, try a “getting to know you dinner” activity. Pick one dish that neither one of you has ever tried making before. Then plan the entire dinner together including going to the store, prepping the food, and cooking the dinner. This activity will allow you to have the opportunity to work together and bond, and in the end you will (hopefully) end up with a tasty dish! Being able to share that sense of accomplishment and learn more about each other is also a great way to solidify your relationship with someone — platonic or romantic.

Do you have any gift or activity ideas that demonstrate the seven virtues? Please share with us in the comments!