When I was in college, a friend’s generosity of spirit and expressions of love snapped me out of the “group-think” mentality suggesting that I had to have a significant other with whom to celebrate Valentine’s Day. Sometimes I had a boyfriend on February 14 and sometimes I didn’t during those college days, but thanks to my friend, I quickly learned that expressing love to friends and family is always meaningful and appreciated – on Valentine’s Day and every other day of the year.

Regardless of whether you’re celebrating Valentine’s Day – or any day – with a significant other, friends, family, or a pet hamster perhaps one, some, or all of the following “share the love” ideas will appeal to you.

Share the Love

1. Be loving to yourself. Make it a priority to carve out solo time each day for quiet, reflection, and/or prayer. Do this on Valentine’s day – and every day. You’ll be glad you did.

2. Send a ball to someone you love. Seriously! What a fun, unexpected way to brighten someone’s day and put a real bounce in their step.

3. Bake something delicious for your neighbor, co-workers, or whomever. (Bonus points if you make chocolate chip oatmeal raisin cookies or New York-style cheesecake.)

4. Have lunch with a close friend who you haven’t seen in awhile.

5. Call your grandmother, grandfather, or another relative who may not receive many social calls and visits.

6. Send a funny article, picture, comic, or video clip to a family member letting them know that you’re thinking of them.

7. Invite friends to your home for a themed dinner. Your theme could range from a clam bake to a country hoe-down to a Mexican fiesta. You take care of the main course, side dishes, decorations, and your costume. Invite your guests to dress in theme-appropriate costumes and bring desserts or beverages.

8. Share the love with your alma mater and favorite non-profit organizations by making your gifts now. They’ll be glad you did.

9. Make a point of doing something special for someone else every day. Let your intuition be your guide.

10. Each day, share a smile, laughter, or kind words with every person you encounter. You’ll be amazed at how sharing the love in this simple, sincere manner will envelope you ten-fold.

* Photo by Ingrid Perlstrom

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