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Celebrate Connection this February

February is a time for connection. Whether you’ll be spending the 14th on a cozy date night with chocolate and flowers, or celebrating with your friends, you know that this month has a tendency to bring us together.

Even if Cupid’s arrows will totally miss you around the middle of February, the month still reminds us of the importance of friends and family—especially as social connections can bring some much-needed warmth in the dreary days of winter.

Love and connection can come in all forms, and here are a few ideas for using February as a good excuse to strengthen them.

  1. Share kind words. With social media “likes,” it seems as if verbal words of kindness have lost a place in our world. This month, make it your goal to express your feelings to another (out loud!). Surprise your mom with an “I love you call,” or simply tell a passerby that you hope they have a good day. It could make all the difference.
  2. Write a letter. Similarly, letter writing seems to be a thing of the past. Revive it by putting pen to paper and surprising a friend abroad or distant relative with a thoughtful note.
  3. Begin a gratitude journal. Even if you aren’t one for surprise calls or letters, document your love for friends and family in a journal. Start small, by journaling about just three people you’re glad to have in your life.
  4. Get to know a neighbor. Valentine’s aren’t just for elementary school, they can spread cheer to adults, too! Leave one in a neighbor’s mailbox, or consider dropping off cookies or offering to shovel their driveway.
  5. Volunteer. Commit to an afternoon of volunteering at a local organization. The experience will introduce you to new people and likely make your heart flutter (no fancy V-day reservations required).
  6. Plan a family date.Hop on your Packa with the kids in tow and check out a new trail or park. Or, grab a board game and some snacks and challenge loved ones to a night of rolling dice.
  7. Plan a date night. Turn your notifications off and stop scrolling to instead spend time with loved ones. Make a romantic dinner with your beau, or have friends over for the Super Bowl or a wine and canvas night.
  8. Don’t forget to laugh. Sharing laughter with someone else is some of the best medicine we’ve got. Happiness is contagious and a joke told to your local barista or shared laughter with someone at the grocery store can go a long way.

It may be the shortest month of the year, but February can often seem like the longest. Make it more fulfilling by considering the importance of connection. Even just reflecting on the people in your life can fill you with joy, and by exchanging a heartfelt word or letter with others, it can go much further. Happy February!