Gone are the oranges and browns of autumn decorations. Gone too are the evergreens of Christmas decorations that we saw throughout stores.

Now the seasonal aisles are filled with pinks and reds in preparing for Valentine’s Day. While celebrated for over 1,500 years, it wasn’t until British poet Geoffrey Chaucer paired his poem “The Parliament of Fowls” with the holiday did it become associated with romantic love.

For over 500 years now Valentine’s Day is a day in which cards, gifts, and treats are exchanged, and the engagement of over 6 million couples annually.

But the February 14th celebration of Valentine’s Day doesn’t brighten every cold, wintery February. In fact, February is National Mend a Broken Heart month and many call February 15th Singles Awareness Day.

If you or someone you know needs a little bit of help getting through February, here are some tips to improve feelings of wellness and improving our mental health self-care.

Create a Routine. A routine, and the structure it brings, can help create predictability, reduce stress, and provide us with a sense of purpose for each and every day.

Or mix things up. Some of us have such a strict routine it is actually a rut. Find a new recipe for dinner, something you’ve never had before, and try it out. Change your walking route to see a new neighborhood or trail. Pick up a book by an author you’ve never read and see if you like their style of storytelling. Getting out of a rut can help us focus on the parts of our routine that reward us and stop doing the things that don’t.

Reconnect with an old friend or mentor. Social distancing has kept us apart from many people we’re used to spending our time with. Use the opportunity to reach out to friends from years gone by who you have lost touch with. Write a letter to a mentor to share with them the influence they had on your life and the good work you’ve been able to do because of their guidance.

February doesn’t need to be fill with romantic love or loneliness, it can be a month of refreshment and preparation for the warmer weather. A few small changes at home can help keep things in perspective.

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