Valentine’s Day, shmalentine’s day.

January is a month of new beginnings and my birthday month. March means spring break, a time to anticipate the buds and blossoms of new life. But sometimes February sucks.

There were several years when I really hated February – as if this particular month was a personal affront. It was the jewelry commercials that put me over the edge. Diamond rings. Diamond bracelets. Jane Seymour and her stupid open hearts necklace. I wanted to scream and throw the remote at the TV. I may have.

(If you have an open-heart necklace, I’m sure it’s lovely. Sorry for the outburst.)

Since I am now many years past the pain of those crummy Valentine’s Days, I wanted to offer some encouragement and a few light-hearted ideas for those who are surviving Valentine’s Day this year with a broken heart.

Here are some practical tips:

  • Just fast-forward through the jewelry commercials, you don’t have to watch them.
  • Stay away from the Hallmark store and the Hallmark channel.
  • Avoid the seasonal aisle at Walgreens.
  • Take a break from social media all together.
  • Do not go out to dinner on Valentine’s Day. Order in. Did you know that Panera delivers?

Here are some “Don’ts”

  • Don’t spill your guts on Snapchat. Your heart is worth more than that.
  • Don’t assume people know what you need or that your friends will remember your broken heart.
  • Don’t go searching for an old flame on Facebook.
  • Don’t stake your happiness on this one particular day.
  • Don’t watch sappy romantic comedies.
  • Don’t measure the worth of your life by how you feel in this moment.
  • Don’t drown yourself in retail therapy.
  • Don’t set yourself up for further disappointment by holding onto unrealistic expectations of yourself or others.
  • Don’t let your heart become jaded or cynical.

Here are some “Do’s”

  • If you are in a relationship, speak up and ask for what you need – whether that is a quiet dinner or some alone time.
  • Do something that nurtures your soul.
  • Schedule a massage.
  • Be proactive and ask your friends to check on you.
  • Borrow someone’s puppy for a nice long snuggle.
  • Be kind and say nice things to yourself.
  • Make plans to spend time with people who cherish you.
  • Watch a funny movie or listen to Comedy Central Radio.
  • Read a good book.
  • Take a bubble bath by candlelight.
  • Know that it won’t always feel this way. Seasons change. There is a way through!
  • Imagine a February in the future when your heart has healed.
  • Expand your thinking to consider that pain often brings with it the potential for growth.
  • Ground yourself in the unfathomable, unwavering, unrivaled love of God.

I wish I could tell you that Valentine’s Day is just a regular day, but we all know it carries some extra weight. It is a day we celebrate loving and being loved. And love is worth celebrating. When romantic love isn’t working out, celebrate the love of friends, family or even a devoted pet. Remind yourself that you are dearly, deeply loved by God. Ask God to surprise you with his goodness and then be on the look out for signs of his love.

If your heart has been broken by betrayal, I have a gift for you! February 13-15, 2018 you can get a free copy of Keep Walking, 40 Days to Hope and Freedom after Betrayal for Kindle on Amazon. If you don’t have an actual Kindle there’s an app for that!

Keep walking. Keep putting one foot in front of the other.

This broken heart is not the end of you!