Season of Love: How to spread and celebrate love this Valentine’s Day.

Valentine’s Day: the day where you tell that special someone how much they mean to you, whether they’re a romantic partner, a friend, a sibling, a mentor, or anyone else. In a time when we are told to stay physically distanced from one another, it may seem like a challenge to celebrate love on the 14th, but there are some creative ways to show your appreciation for the people in your life that make you smile and have helped you to grow.

One way to express your love this holiday is by writing letters. There’s something that seems more special and sentimental about receiving a letter in the mail than simply receiving a text or an email. Maybe it’s because it’s something tangible, something that takes more time and effort, or because it’s something that has become more and more rare as time has gone on.

Either way, taking the time to handwrite a letter of gratitude and love is sure to be well worth it, and there are so many ways to get creative with it as well. You can include a poem you like, a playlist of songs that remind you of the person you’re sending it to, drawings, a small piece of candy, photos, and more to make it even more personalized and heartfelt.

If you’re not one for writing and prefer spending quality time with the ones that you love, try arranging a virtual movie night through Zoom or using applications like Gaze or the Teleparty Chrome extension that allow you to watch shows and movies simultaneously while still allowing viewers to talk with one another. This also works for game nights, as there are many games online that can be played by sharing a link with friends.

Another way to show people you care during this time is to order them a heartfelt gift from a small business and have it shipped to them. You can watch them open it over video chat to see their reaction, and you can feel even better knowing that you helped support someone in doing what they love. It’s a win-win if giving gifts gives you joy.

Some unique gift ideas include: a book that you think they’ll love filled with your notes, a hand drawn portrait of the two of you, a customized bracelet with their name, your name, or a favorite quote on it, and a box filled with self-care items and encouraging notes.

Have dinner with each other over FaceTime, even if it’s only take-out. Dress fancy, make each other laugh with silly costumes, or keep it casual.

However you choose to celebrate Valentine’s Day this year, make sure that you extend your love, appreciation, and gratitude to those around you. We’re all living through a challenging time, mentally, emotionally, physically, politically, and potentially academically, and your words of affirmation and gratitude or a kind gift or gesture could make someone’s day significantly brighter.

Remember that you are loved, you are valued, and you are appreciated this season and every season.

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