Here’s the truth about Valentine’s Day. People have very different relationships with the celebration in question. If you’re not in a relationship, you might not think you’re the kind of person who should be celebrating. You might feel that way if you’re IN a relationship. And, that’s not so. You can use Valentine’s Day to celebrate love in all of its forms. And as corny as it sounds, you can celebrate love any day, even if it’s not a romantic for of love.

For the month of February (and with Valentine’s Day as our inspiration), Therapy for Black Girls is calling out the ways you can celebrate love– love for others, love for experiences and love for yourself. We’ll be talking about the ways we can be in healthier relationships and navigate our way out of toxic ones.

To kick off this month of love, whether you’re in a relationship or not, here are a few ways you can celebrate love in all of its forms: 

You can celebrate anyone, just pick someone!  
Think about some of the most wonderful humans in this life. Now, think about the ones you have access to. Find a way to celebrate them! You can have a super fun Galentine’s day. You can celebrate your mother, father, sister or any other a close relative. Hit up an aunt and let her know you’re thinking of her. Chances are, they’ll reciprocate the love.

Be around the little ones in your life.
Remember the childlike excitement you got in third grade when you exchanged Valentine’s Day cards with classmates? That contagious joy may help you get into the spirit of love. Another idea: send Valentine’s Day books or cards to the little ones in your life.

Decorate your house.
Celebrate the love you have for your personal space. Ribbon, confetti, a scented candle is enough.

RELATED: Session 8: Getting What You Need in Relationships

Affirm yourself
When we affirm ourselves we’re amen-ing the things we love about ourselves. Try saying the following out loud:
‘I have a kind heart,’
I am confident in my body,’
‘I am beautiful,’
‘I am strong,’
‘I respect my body,’
Repeat.

Hop on the phone.
If you don’t even know how to begin with these affirmations, do it with a friend! Call up someone close to you and take turns saying things you like about the other person. Write their words down on paper. Repeat it out loud and practice internalizing their words. Here’s a prompt to get you started: What are five things that make me special?

IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER: Make sure you snag friends who will talk exclusively about the good things, not just your growth areas.

RELATED: Session 57: The Do’s of Dating

Compliment someone.
Practice giving love by giving complimenting others. Maybe push yourself to compliment someone you don’t talk to very often.

Practice gratitude.
Be still for a moment. Look around you and focus on the things that make you feel grateful. Did you accomplish a goal recently? If so, take the time to recognize that and thank yourself for doing what was needed to reach that goal.

Celebrate February 15th
Always remember, the best part about Valentine’s Day is February 15th when all that Vaelntine’s Day chocolate goes on sale! Treat yo self!

Author: Kamron Taylor