Mental Health & Wellness

Show the Love on Valentine’s Day

Lovely hearts on the table

Valentine’s Day is a fun holiday to share love with all the special people in your life. You don’t have to spend lots of money on gifts, jewelry, dinners, or flowers. Try some of these inexpensive ideas to make the day special.

Include the kids!

One of my children’s favorite Valentine’s Day traditions was a candy box scavenger hunt. I would hide a large heart-shaped box of candy somewhere in our house and then hide clues that would tell them where to find it. After giving my kids the first clue, they had to work together to find the prize! It was always frantic fun.

Have an indoor picnic.

Planning a picnic is easy. Wait until the kids go to bed, or select a quiet room in the house. Throw down a blanket and some pillows, open your favorite beverage, and have some finger foods. You can listen to music, talk about your first date, or gaze lovingly into your spouse’s eyes.

Make handmade cards.

Gather up the paper, scissors, crayons, and markers and make each other a handmade Valentine. Put everyone’s name in a hat, and have each person draw one name to make a card for. Use materials you have on hand and encourage everyone to be creative. You can serve a Valentine-themed snack at the end.

Watch a romantic movie together.

Most of us already own our favorite romantic movie, but if you don’t you can easily stream it. Make some popcorn, sit close together, and hold hands. If the movie is kid-friendly, consider including your children in on the viewing. It’s fun for them to know what calls to your heart.

Reach out to others.

If you are out-and-about on Valentine’s Day, do a random act of kindness for someone. I promise it will make their day (and yours!)

And what if your spouse is deployed?

Military spouses may find celebrating the day difficult if their loved one is deployed or TDY. Reach out to your loved one if possible via Skype or e-mail. Make a poster and share it long distance. Understand that you both may feel sad. If the day is just too difficult, find an activity that is comforting to you and do that, even if that means staying in your pajamas all day!

How will you share the love this Valentine’s Day?


bio-pic Carole Van Holbeck is a retired Air Force spouse, veteran (1978-1990), and former military dependent child. She is a mother of three sons, stepmother to three  adult children, and grandmother to nine. A registered psychotherapist, she works as the Office Manager of Warrior Counseling & Consulting, a veteran mental health practice in Colorado Springs, Colorado started by her husband Ken in 2011. In this role, Carole engages with active duty military, veterans, and their families and understands current issues affecting this population.


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