By Dr. Diane Lass – a Clinical Psychologist with a Private Practice in Ocean Beach and Palm Desert

Or is it? Valentine’s Day brings about different emotions for different people. Emotions can range from romantic, exciting and fun at one range of the spectrum to full on depression at the other. Some couples approach Valentine’s Day with anticipation, while others dread the day completely. It can be seen as a “Hallmark Holiday,” which is wrapped up with commercialism. Flowers typically increase in price and one partner may feel as though they need to perfect their “mind reading skills” in order to make the day extra special – which to some, can feel like a cruel test. Some Valentine’s receive huge bouquets of flowers at work, while other people may view the florist’s grand entrances with a silent sense of sadness. Expectations may not be met by some; and for those that are suffering, every couple they see appear to be living a life of ecstatic romantic bliss. There are those who are suffering from recent divorces or death of their partners. Some are unhappily single and on Valentine’s Day, it feels like a terminal disease of sorts, one that cannot be avoided because of romantic television commercials, and products, which are strategically displayed near all checkout lines at every grocery store.

Regardless, of how one feels about Valentine’s Day in and of itself, I do believe it can be a day of reflection, one in which we can reflect on what we are grateful and appreciative for in our lives.

Love is in the air in many ways. Sometimes, we need to be more aware of our neighbors, families and friends and send a little more love to those that are in need. To reach out and give more love to others and to be less focused on what we receive. I do believe Valentine’s Day serves as a good reminder to appreciate others. To take a moment and appreciate the beauty of those things that surround us, as well as our neighbors, families and friends.

Love is to be lived and experienced in ways that are unique to all of us. Love is about connection, appreciation, community and beauty. Loving one another, living life from our hearts, loving ourselves, which could possibly mean sharing a romantic fun day/evening with a lover, or it could mean appreciating yourself for who you are. How can you show a little extra love for yourself this Valentine’s Day? Or how can you send out a little more love to those who are special to you? We don’t always express how important others are to us as we often assume they already know. We can all use a little more love, so this Valentine’s Day, remember – love is in the air – Share some love!