While many are experiencing the repercussions of this past year, consider the many ways you could spread love to those around you this Valentine’s Day. 


With all of the unprecedented events of 2020, everyone is in need of a little extra love this holiday season. The effects of recent societal hardships have significantly impacted our lives and have resulted in the mass decline of mental health. As showing others affection can have a major impact on their wellbeing, there is a need to reimagine Valentine’s Day this year. 

Mimi Dao, a graduate of Azusa Pacific’s counseling and student development program, explained that feeling loved by others is a basic human need and can positively affect all aspects of a person’s life. However, hardships that have been brought about by the pandemic such as social isolation have made it harder for people to feel as though they belong.

“Mental health issues cause us to feel like no one cares for us and we are alone … but showing love to someone helps them get back to reality,” Dao said.

The number of people looking for help with anxiety and depression has skyrocketed since the onset of the pandemic — especially among the youth and young adult populations. The ambiguity of the future, financial instability, the lack of control and loneliness that many are experiencing have all contributed to the mass decline of mental health. 

A friend of mine that I have known for 10 years has recently spoken to me about how the pandemic has impacted them. 

“I’ve never really struggled with mental health at all until this year,” he said. “Not being able to spend time with people I love has been hard.”

Others have experienced heartbreak due to the COVID-19 shutdowns. Citlali Arreola, a college freshman, was disappointed by her inability to graduate highschool traditionally. She stated that over the course of this past year, her mental health has declined as she has had to stay home and be alone with her thoughts. 

Society has yet to recover from the repercussions of the ongoing pandemic, multiple lockdowns, a presidential election and a multitude of protests and social movements. This is why it is imperative that we intentionally spread love during this period, even if that requires us to reach outside of our comfort zones and get creative. With that said, here are 10 tips for how you could show someone love this Valentine’s Day season:

1. Send a gift card

Financial stress can take a major toll on an individual’s wellbeing, so give them a hand if you know they need it! Or, if you know their favorite store, then send them on a shopping spree. Shopping can actually boost serotonin levels!

2. Zoom workout session

Quarantine doesn’t have to put your fitness journey on hold. Plus, everyone loves a workout buddy! Maintaining your physical health can improve your mental health as well. Hop on a Zoom call together and stream a Youtube exercise class.

3. Give them a call 

“A lot of what people are lacking right now is interaction with people, which can still be done without being together physically,” Dao said. So give your friend or loved one a phone or video call and let them hear your voice! 

4. Send a self-care gift

Self-care has a major impact on holistic health. Send them a bath kit, teas or other comfort items to ease their stress. 

5. Send an endearing text message

Everyone loves a sweet note. Send them a nice and meaningful message letting them know you care!

6. Plan something fun together

Give them something to look forward to. Plan a fun hangout or trip for when things start to clear up and get back to normal. This can really aid in motivation!

7. Movie night

Our digital age has made movie night with anyone at any time possible! Netflix and other movie streaming platforms have a party option to watch with your friends online.

8. Read a book or do a devotion together

Start a book club with your friends via video call or do a devotional with a partner.

9. Food — the key to everyone’s heart

Have their favorite meal or snack delivered to their house. You can even do this with flowers or other gifts. Anything to let them know you’re thinking of them even if you’re far away!

10. Make a playlist for them

Compile your favorite songs at the moment or any music you think they’d like and send them a playlist that they can listen to when they are bored.

“I’m a big advocate for learning the love languages of those in your life,” said Dao. Learning about them can help you figure out how they best receive love and feel cared for. Follow these tips and make those around you feel extra loved this Valentine’s Day season!