February is known as the month of love, but many people can find this time of year to be a bit discouraging. As Valentine’s Day approaches, you’ve likely seen the stores filling their shelves with items meant for that “special someone.” For someone without a partner, however, these heart-shaped products can be a reminder of being alone. Since these feelings of loneliness and depression are so common in February, it’s important to remember to practice self-love.

Whether you’re in a relationship or not, self-love is critical when it comes to becoming the best version of yourself. For those who will be spending the holiday alone, here are a handful of ways to foster self-love this Valentine’s Day and throughout the year.

Make Peace With Being Alone

Being at peace with being alone can make it easier to deal with feelings of loneliness. Recognize that your purpose in life is not to find someone else to love you and that you cannot fill a void in yourself with other people. Being without a partner is also not a reflection of the kind of person you are or your success in life. You are not unlovable just because you may be alone right now. Acknowledging these things can help you make peace with being alone and enjoy your single life more.

When you can rewire the way you look at yourself, you can slowly but surely take steps in the direction that you deserve. There is something to be said about those who know that their existence is not based on whether they have someone else in their life. Be happy knowing that you have the freedom to make choices for yourself!

Date Yourself

You have probably heard this before, but how many times have you actually done just that? Maybe this year is the right time to get out of your comfort zone and celebrate the fact that you can do things on your own. Plus, if you skip the part of your journey that involves being able to live with and love who you are, how will you ever know exactly what you want and deserve? It is through understanding yourself that you learn what makes you happy, what will hold you back and what will allow you to grow.

Visit or Volunteer at an Animal Shelter

Animals have a special way of making people feel loved in every way possible. If you’re not ready for a pet of your own, consider volunteering. You may find that the emotional support of an animal can help remind you of the important things in life.

Create a List of What You Love About Yourself

The items you list do not have to be big, monumental things. Sometimes, just reminding yourself that you have something to offer to the world is enough to lift your spirits. Set a timer for five minutes and write down everything that comes to mind when thinking about what makes you special, important and unique. Get creative! There are likely a ton of things that you are forgetting that you love about yourself. Your list might also remind you that are already whole on your own and because of that, anyone you allow into your life should only complement the things that you love about yourself.

Call Up a Single Friend

If being alone on Valentine’s Day is creating stress for you, call another single friend and ask them if they have any plans. What about a long-distance friend? Set up a FaceTime date and catch up. This can be an awesome way to remind yourself that you are loved by others. Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to be all about romance — it can also be about friendship and knowing that someone else cares for you.

Listen to Positive Music

For some reason, when people feel down about themselves, they tend to gravitate towards sad music. Don’t make your mood worse by seeking out music that will keep you feeling sad! This Valentine’s Day, build a playlist of your favorite songs that always seem to be able to pull you out of a funk. People may not realize the impact that music can have, but listening to positive songs is proven to increase feelings of happiness. Don’t be afraid to put on some of your favorite jams and dance away your negative feelings.

Regardless of your situation, relationship status or plans for this Valentine’s Day, don’t give in any negative self-talk that may come up. Practicing self-love is the only thing you should be spending your energy on this Valentine’s Day and beyond.

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