How do I celebrate Valentine’s Day when my loved one’s in rehab?

It’s almost Valentine’s Day and love is in the air. But if your loved one’s in rehab, no matter how deeply you inhale, it feels lonely when the one you love is so many miles away at treatment.

Alone on Valentine’s Day

Even though you’re happy that they’re in a place of healing, you still miss them a lot. After all, 28 or 60 or 90 days is a long time to be away from the person you love. The length of time is bad enough on its own, but when they’re gone for Valentine’s day, it really seems like forever.

Celebrating Your Love Despite the Distance

While you might not be able to be with them in person, you can still make it a special day for both of you. Distance may prevent you from enjoying a fancy dinner together, but it certainly shouldn’t prevent you from showing your love, support, and encouragement.

Here are 5 tips to help you celebrate Valentine’s Day with your loved one while they’re away at rehab.

1. A handwritten note

Even if you do plan to call them on the same day, nothing beats the warmth and intimacy of a tangible card or letter. So send a note of encouragement expressing your pride, your support and your love. The personal nature of a handwritten note carries much emotional weight, and the sustaining power of a timely encouragement may be just what your loved one needs.

2. Their favorite (healthy) snack

While there is nothing wrong with Starbuck’s pastries or Trader Joe’s dark chocolate, remember that your loved one should be eating a diet that promotes physical and mental healing. Provide wholesome and delicious snacks that your loved one enjoys.  This may require you to exercise your creative powers—or hone your cooking skills—but the effort will be worth it.

3. A small, personalized gift

Choose a small, but meaningful gift tailored to their interests. Is your loved one interested in photography or art? Do they collect ceramic star wars figures? Maybe a couple movie tickets for something special to look forward to after rehab? Funny, practical, or geeky, your loved one is sure to recognize and appreciate a heartfelt token of love.

4.  A Journal

Journaling is one of the best tools for recovery. A journal becomes a place to express emotions, record progress and chronicle a new life. Even if your loved one is not a big writer, journaling can become an enriching and therapeutic habit. After a few days, your loved one may find that they actually enjoy it.

Tip: Here’s a list of 5 best paper notebooks.

5. iTune’s gift card

Be it an iTune’s gift card, CD—or if you’re feeling nostalgic, an old record—you can never have too much music in life. As one person phrased it, “You can’t overdose on music.” Not only is music the language of love, music can be inspiring, relaxing and can remind your loved one of those who believe in them through this journey called recovery.