By Corinne Yeadon, of the Being Better private therapy practice based in Newmarket Street, Skipton

WE all need a little love in our lives this Valentine’s month, particularly when we are missing the validation and contact of others.

Love is not restricted to the romantic kind, it comes in all shapes and sizes. Neither is it reserved for people. As a nation, the affection and attachment to our four-legged friends and companions is unparalleled. The beauty of nature and places can instil a sense of loveliness by just being there or reflecting on photographs. Whatever your hobbies or activities, they are engaged in because they ignite passion and interest. Restrictions may mean your usual pastimes cannot be indulged to the highest degree, but there is always scope to be creative and adapt.

Time runs away and becomes blurry during the pandemic, it can also feel that we are constantly in a state of waiting especially during lockdowns. The absence of social interaction and support can lead to feelings of deep sadness which is appropriate to the circumstances, however deeper feelings can result in a lack of motivation to stay in touch with people. The effort to contact others can feel too much but it is worth it, an audio or video call works wonders for lifting mood, even if the conversation is Covid dominated. We are pack animals and need those connections even in a lesser context.

It’s crucial to purge those debilitating thoughts and feelings, putting them down on paper is a great and a safe way of emptying your head. A helpful way of keeping in touch with people is agreeing and scheduling video calls on a set day/time, this may feel rigid and not fun but it is more likely to happen.

The sending and receiving of letters is a lost art but really does generate feelings of warmth and can trigger ongoing contact. A card just letting someone know you are thinking of them hits the spot. Go on, spread a little love this February for yourself and those important to you.