Pink hearts in every store window. Romantic couples dinner menus. Boxes of chocolates and red flower arrangements. When you’re single on Valentine’s Day, these publicly displayed symbols can elicit feelings of loneliness and self-doubt, and serve as salient reminders of your relationship status. However, Valentine’s Day isn’t just a holiday for those in a relationship; it’s a day for everyone to celebrate love.
In today’s blog, Dr. Jenna Rowen offers ways to celebrate your love with those who matter most – your family, friends and those who positively impact your life on a daily basis.
Valentine’s Day is a day to celebrate love. That love does not have to come from a spouse, lover or partner. It can be the love from a family member – your colorful sibling, bohemian cousin or dutiful step-parent. Maybe your two best friends from grade school you can’t imagine living without, or the office mate who always shares cookies on Fridays. It could even be the neighbor who always greets you with a warm smile.
Rather than dwell on your relationship status this February 14th, pay your love forward to those who bring love and joy into your life on a daily basis.
Here are some easy tips for celebrating all types of love this Valentine’s Day:
- Send 3 non-romantic cards to 3 different people you want to remind how much you value their relationship. They could be people you have lost touch with or with whom you have not actively maintained relationships in the way you hoped. Receiving these cards and knowing you took the time to reach out will make them feel cared about and valued.
- Send a friend or co-worker chocolate or candy. Who doesn’t love to receive a surprise gift? Make their day by having their favorite food delivered to their office or home.
- Do 3 random acts of kindness in the workplace or in your neighborhood. Give a homeless person a snack. Buy coffee for the person in back of you at Starbucks. Hang up the picture you co-worker has not gotten to yet. Nothing spreads more good will than doing an unprompted act of kindness.
- Plan a friend’s night out and embrace the love in those relationship rather than ruminating over the absence of romantic love. Go to everyone’s favorite restaurant with the best margaritas and catch up about the week. Laugh and enjoy one another’s company.
- Plan a friend’s night in and create an environment filled with fun, friends and warmth. Have a movie night and supply nostalgic snacks. Organize a potluck and have a game night after dinner. Throw a “red” party with red food, drinks, decorations and clothing.
This Valentine’s Day, celebrate the many sources of love in your life and remember just how loved you are.
Dr. Rowen specializes in research and treatment of high levels of family negativity and interparental conflict, which adversely impact the co-parenting relationship, parent-child relationships, and child psychological well-being. She is committed to providing high quality, empirically-supported treatment to children, families, and couples. Learn more about Dr. Rowen on our website.
The Family Institute offers therapy and counseling for children, adolescents, parents and families at our Evanston, downtown Chicago, Westchester and Northbrook locations. Visit our website to learn more.