News alert! If you haven’t already heard, Valentine’s Day is no longer reserved for couples. It’s a holiday (read: excuse) for everyone in any kind of relationship, romantic or not, to celebrate love. So instead of looking at Valentine’s Day as a potentially challenging time, look at it as an opportunity to show others, and more importantly yourself, a little love.
Here are five ways this Valentine’s day you can celebrate love, regardless if you’re single or in a committed relationship.
1. Celebrate friends.
A happy life is a life with friends. Let your friends know that you love and appreciate them by spending Valentine’s Day with them! What’s better than a Galentine’s Day brunch (Deja Blue anyone?) with longtime friends, or maybe more up the dudes alley, a get together at a brewery or pub. Make Valentine’s Day cards for each other, expressing your love for them and how having them in your life makes them special.
Don’t have a lot of friends? No excuse! Send a Valentine’s Day card or small treat to someone you want to become closer friends with and strengthen that connection.
2. Celebrate family.
And we don’t mean blood relatives. Whoever is special in your life and you consider family, take a moment this February 14th to reach out to them. Bake some homemade treats, play a board game, share funny stories or simply spend some quality time with them. Consider a furry friend family? That totally counts. Take them for a walk around Pine Trails Park, treat them to a puppicino, or buy them a new toy.
3. Celebrate a stranger.
Now we don’t necessarily mean grabbing a random stranger off the street and taking them out for a romantic meal, but you can treat a random person to a little kindness this Valentine’s Day. Practicing random acts of kindness has been proven to improve mental health, so why not do yourself a favor too! Buy someone a cup of coffee, tip extra, hide a cheerful note on a random car, or give a compliment to someone.
4. Celebrate a cause you love.
Are you an ardent supporter of a cause? Spend the day supporting your favorite charity, whether by volunteering, donating goods or money, or spreading information about the cause. Some local charities include The Florida Humane Society, Parkland Cares, and Hands on Broward, so get out there and share the love!
5. Last, but not least, celebrate yourself.
Amidst the turmoil of COVID-19, it’s especially important to take a moment and remind yourself that you are worthy of love, that it’s ok to take a break and “treat yourself.” Valentine’s Day is a perfect reason to practice self-gratitude and self-love. Take a break from social media and spoil yourself: plan to treat yourself to some chocolates (duh,) flowers or even a simple nap. This can even be a perfect time to plan to incorporate some good self-care and mental health habits into your life, like meditation, writing gratitude lists or therapy.
At Invigorate Counseling, based in Parkland, FL and offering online therapy to all Florida residents, I take pride in helping my clients learn to love themselves again. If you commit this Valentine’s Day to learn to love life and yourself just a little more, I’m here for you every step of the way. Don’t hesitate to reach out!
Oh, and remember, Valentine’s Day isn’t just for the love birds out there. It’s for you too!