No love in February? Don’t give up hope February 3, 2023 — by Sunny Cao and Leyna Chan Photo by Leyna ChanJust sitting calmly as you sip a hot coffee and stare into the autumn leaves… Tips on how not to feel single during the month of love. February is the month of love. A balloon of pink and red explodes in every chain store during the second month of the new year, constantly reminding shoppers to purchase chocolates and flowers as “appreciation” for their loved ones. But for those who aren’t in a relationship and don’t plan on being in one any time soon, here are five different ways to add some romance to your life. Appreciate the simple things Imagine waking up to the sun shining through your window and watching as the light streams perfectly through your curtains, hitting your immaculately handwritten personal journal just right. Sure, it might not be realistic, but what is realistic about Valentine’s Day anyway? Indulge and romanticize the little things in life, and realize that the tiniest things you never thought to pay attention to can turn into one of the biggest joys. Why not make yourself the main character? There’s no problem so big that it can’t be solved with baking Making delectable, fluffy pastries and bread is a relaxing pastime and a wonderful way to spend wintry afternoons. From enjoying the heavenly aroma of freshly baked brioche to sweet cupcakes that melt on your tongue, the process of baking and trying new recipes is exciting. To add a finishing touch, plate your food in beautiful containers and eat with aesthetically pleasing dishes while enjoying a wonderful afternoon. Some personal favorites are chocolate chip cookies, shortcakes and all sorts of breads. My tradition is making snowflake bread every christmas. Mindfulness and Wind Downs Give meditation and mindfulness a try, my favorites are the calm app, and listening to white noise and music before sleep. Studies show that practicing mindfulness can make the gray area in your brain’s amygdala, known for its role in stress, smaller. Plus, you get to live like every lifestyle YouTuber. Apply a filter over your life, light a candle, watch the sunrise or sunset and savor your time with your close ones. You can also try pretending you’re a celebrity to further romanticize your current situation. “Ah yes — just hanging out in my millionaire mansion as I sip my tea over the sunset and have my servants bring me dessert.” Ditch the negativity In order to add romance to your life, it makes sense to banish recurring negative thoughts. If you are constantly thinking about how terrible your day was, comparing yourself to other people or binge-reading negative news, it will be much harder to think about the positives. Constantly playing catch-up is tiring. Aspire for your own happiness rather than trying to match someone else’s picture-perfect life. There are many studies that have shown that pursuing mental happiness also leads to a whole lot of physical health benefits as well. stronger resilience in the face of stress, and more. Being single during the month of love is definitely difficult as you watch others be all lovey-dovey. But it is important to remind ourselves that self-love and appreciation can be just as powerful as affection from a significant other. And if all else fails, there’s always your stuffed animals to cry into and console yourself with.