I looked up not long ago and realized that Valentine’s Day is almost upon us. For those in a healthy, loving relationship, this time of year can be over-the-moon uplifting and joyful.

For many, Valentine’s Day 2020 will be a painful reminder of what was lost or a yearning for the not yet

  • The single girl or guy who longs for a love to call their own.
  • A widow or widower wistfully remembering their loved one.
  • The lonely person who feels forgotten.
  • Those reeling from a traumatic loss and desperate to just put one foot in front of the other.
  • The divorced seeking a new life-normal.

If you find yourself in one of these situations (or somewhere similar) and wonder how in the world you can experience joy this Valentine’s Day, may I offer 3 steps to take.

Be Aware

First of all, be aware that February 14th is around the corner and falls on a Friday this year.

Ads are popping up everywhere – with floral specials, cards, balloons, and restaurants. Since it falls on a Friday, Saturday will be another date night opportunity for celebration.

If you work in an office, be aware of the potential for special Valentine’s Day deliveries. Often in singleness, this becomes a quick, stark reminder. Every opening of the office door can feel like another missed opportunity for love. Rationally we know this isn’t true, but our heart might lead us down painful thought paths if we aren’t aware and mentally prepared for this reality.

Make a Plan

Valentine’s Day is about love. All love, not just romantic love. Make a plan to celebrate special people in your life. The table serves as a meaningful gathering place. Contact family members and plan to host a fun dinner for them. Don’t create more work for yourself (unless you love to cook). Make it simple. A meal of chili, salad, and brownies for dessert. Or plan a theme and ask everyone to bring a dish.

Often our friends are our family. Plan the same kind of dinner with them.

After a fun time gathered around the table, serve dessert and coffee during game time that involves everyone. Charades is a great option and dominoes can be a lively and competitive experience too.

The goal? Celebrate the people you love!

Reach Out

Be aware of the upcoming holiday, make a plan, and reach out.

If this day brings conflicting emotions for you, reach out to offer kindness and love to another person.

Send a card to a friend or neighbor suffering from a difficult or sad experience. A Valentine’s Day card with a handwritten note. “I’m thinking of you,” “I’m praying for your peace and comfort,” “I’m here for you,” offers simple, yet thoughtful words and sentiment. Add a small vase of flowers or plant to create a special delivery for their home or office. None of this needs to be expensive, just overflowing with thoughtful care.

Write a letter (yes, write! :)) to someone who had a loving, positive impact on your life.

Reach out to an elderly person in your corner of the world. Leave them a note, stop by for a quick visit, call to find out their diet and make a meal for them. Many people just need to know their presence and life matters. Gestures like this make them feel appreciated and cared for and will make your soul sing as well.

Take these 3 steps and bring great joy and love to your heart (and others) this Valentine’s Day.

May your yearning and loneliness transform into an abundance of joy!

Happy Valentine’s Day!