Some people love Valentine’s Day. They use it as a reason to celebrate their partners and revel in the romance of the holiday. They celebrate the feelings the holiday engenders and love the idea of celebrating love.

Other people hate Valentine’s Day. They say the holiday can lead to anxiety and depression because it reminds people that they aren’t in relationships. They say that the day perpetuates the belief that the only way to be happy is to be part of a couple.

But, Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to be all about hearts, flowers, and love. Well, it can be about love, but it doesn’t have to be the love we see in romantic comedies or hear about in love songs. Instead, Valentine’s Day can be about different kinds of love:

Love of families. People can spend the day with their parents, children, or other family members.

Wouldn’t it be fun to look at photo albums to reminisce about fun times in the past? Or, how about participating in a fun event to make future memories?

Love of friends. Friends are like the families we’ve chosen. Why not take Valentine’s Day to spend time with your chosen loved ones? You can tell them what they mean to you and they can do the same for you. You can spend time together to celebrate each other.

Love of others. If people are depressed about not being in a romantic relationship, they might want to spend the day serving others. Doing good can make people feel good, and organizations are always looking for eager volunteers.

Love of animals. One of those organizations could be a local humane society. Animals provide affection and can be a calming presence in times of stress.

Love of nature. Wild animals and nature also have calming properties. Studies have shown that spending time outdoors can provide a number of health benefits.

At the very least, going outside provides a change of scenery and may make life a little more interesting.

Love of hobbies. Speaking of interests, participating in hobbies can help you focus on things other than depression, anxiety, and other problems. They help you shift your perspective and find joy and love.

Love isn’t just about finding a special partner. It’s embracing and loving the good things in your life. It’s also the quest to find more.

About the author: Pamela Zuber is a writer and an editor who has written about a wide variety of topics, including physical and mental health, addiction rehab, politics, and gender.”

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