Valentine’s day can feel daunting if you are not in a relationship. Everything leading up to the Day and on it is geared towards two people. Cards, candy, flowers all the cliched trappings of romantic couple love. It’s enough to make a single gal or guy take to the couch with a quart of ice cream and a feeling of self-loathing. Let’s not go there this time. Love is a beautiful thing whether it’s romantic, friendship, or love of family and it IS worthy of a celebration so I highly recommend embracing Valentine’s Day as a chance to do so.

Treat yourself:

One form of love we often neglect to celebrate is love of self. To me, this is the most important kind of love and needs to be practiced not just on a holiday but EVERY day. If you can’t be kind and loving towards yourself it is very difficult to show love and compassion to others.

How do we practice this self-love? Maybe we use Valentine’s Day as a jumping point. If you are single (as I am ) take this opportunity to treat yourself to something special. A walk on the beach, a movie, a good book, your favorite yoga class...any of these will do. The point is to find a way to celebrate you. A gift to yourself is as good as any you might receive from someone else because only you truly know how to fill your soul.

Change your point of view:

I know this day of hearts and romance can be irritating if you are alone but again love is a wonderful thing. Try to shift your perspective and instead of resentment or jealousy be happy for those around you celebrating their relationships. When you are in one you will want the same. Notice the feelings of kindness and love around you. Know that it exists. In the big picture, this is what our society So find comfort in this. Try some heart-opening yoga poses or a loving kindness meditation sending your heart into the world and letting in love.

Celebrate friends and family:

If you are not in a romantic relationship make a point of celebrating the love you have for your friends or your children. Nothing gives me more joy than to let my kids know they are my valentine's. Do something special for them. A note, a treat, sharing some connected and present time. Do a craft together as a family. Make some phone calls to the people you care about and find a way to be kind all day long. The more we practice kindness towards others the more it becomes a part of who we are all year long.

Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to be a reminder of what we don’t have but instead is a perfect opportunity to celebrate all kinds of love and keep it going way beyond the holiday.

For a wonderful read about the serendipity of loving friendship grab a copy of my book You and Me for kids of all ages.