• Invite friends over for dinner and use the good linens and china.
  • Ladies: Indulge yourself to cozy bed linens, a new nightgown, a massage or pedicure.
  • Guys: Treat yourself to a ballgame, model train exhibit or car show.
  • Send a valentine or flowers to someone who has comforted and loved you. This day isn’t solely for romantic love.

Calm

  • Try a new pillow or neck exercises. They work wonders for tension.
  • Make yourself a warm, comforting drink of hot cocoa or chai tea.
  • Get enough sunshine. Winter’s shorter daylight hours can produce depression.
  • Exercise produces natural stress reducers, and it’s a great way to meet new people. Many gyms have childcare available.
  • Calligraphy your favorite Bible verse (Suggestions: Deuteronomy 31:6 Philippians 4:6-81 Peter 5:7 or try your hand at drawing or sculpting.

Caution

  • Refrain from anesthetizing loneliness with drugs or alcohol. These chemicals can induce despair which often leads to a greater sense of isolation.
  • Shun the temptation to frequent bars or use sex as a way to ease the pain. This decision often leads to disastrous long-term consequences.
  • Avoid photographs, memorabilia, fragrances, restaurants or atmospheres which trigger nostalgic memories of “what used to be.”
  • Steer clear of movies that focus on weddings, people falling in love, adultery, or emotionally wounded children. Instead choose films with a lighthearted, fun plot.

And the last, but not least suggestion: Look to the true “Lover of your Soul” Jesus, for comfort. He alone is the one who knows all of your pain, needs and desires. And He promises that He loves you with an everlasting love that will not change or fade (Jeremiah 31:3Isaiah 55. He longs to lavish you with love, his passionate heart burns for you. (1 John 3:1Zephaniah 3:17).

I pray these suggestions help to make Valentine's Day brighter. After all, any day with chocolate as the focus is something to smile about!

Copyright © 2009 Laura Petherbridge. All rights reserved. Originally appeared at LauraPetherbridge.com. Used with permission.

Laura Petherbridge is an international author and speaker who serves couples and single adults with topics on relationships, spiritual growth, divorce prevention, and divorce recovery. She is the author of When “I Do” Becomes “I Don’t”—Practical Steps for Healing During Separation and Divorce, and a featured expert on the DivorceCare DVD series. Her newest book The Smart Stepmom, is co-authored with Ron Deal. Laura’s website is www.TheSmartStepmom.com

Publication date: February 8, 2013