February 14th, Valentine’s Day, is almost here.  Everywhere you go you see colorful and enticing ads for flowers, jewelry, and photos of blissfully happy couples. Does it make you smile or make you want to crawl up into a ball and hide? There are millions of people who are without that special love, through death, divorce, separation or personal situations.  Are you one of them?

If that iconic Valentine’s red heart is broken in your eyes, there are steps you can take to put a patch on it, even for just this one dreaded day.  You’ll find there can be pleasure, joy and smiles; even if it’s not in the form you envisioned. Happiness comes in the most surprising ways:

• First acknowledge that you’re feeling alone and in pain, it’s natural.

• Give yourself permission to feel down and even depressed, it’s your right.

• Make certain to get dressed, get out of your house and socialize.  It’s a temporary fix, but it helps.

• Reach out to someone else who needs love.

• Give a valentine card or heart to a little child. Sometimes they get left out in school. Watch the smile on their face.

• Buy yourself a present.  You deserve it. Repeat to yourself that you are loved by others.

• Help a stranger; volunteer at a charity, a shelter.  It will automatically make you feel better.

• Take yourself, or better yet, go with a friend, to a movie (not a romantic, mushy one), exercise; another positive diversion.

• Thank someone who has loved you; a parent, relative, friend, children, grandchildren).  Wish them a Happy Valentine’s Day.

• Remember the good times and remind yourself that there will be more to come. Then, believe it and it will happen.

Author, Susan Alpert (http://susanalpertconsulting.com/) is a lecturer and author on the topic of surviving loss. Author of Later Is Too Late: Hard Conversations That Can’t Wait, helps readers better prepare themselves for the inevitability of loss and learn how to cope with it.