February is a weird month, isn’t it? I don’t especially like it, despite the fact it usually brings the best day of the year with it (Pancake Day, duh). I struggle in February. Despite living in South East Asia, the winter weather still has a huge impact on me – it’s grey and the sun only makes a rare appearance.
In November and December, I have Christmas (and a holiday) to look forward to. In January, I’m full of motivation that comes with the New Year and a ‘new start’. By February, I’m bored of the greyness and I realise I can’t achieve all my goals in just a few weeks and that they actually take work.
Add into the mix that coronavirus is sweeping the news and there’s unsurprisingly an anxiety about that sweeping the city. I’m anxious, too, about the environment, especially when I see articles about the temperature in Antarctica being higher than the temperature here in Vietnam. There have been personal issues with health and relationships and, you know, February just hasn’t been great so far.
So, this morning, I decided to make myself the perfect Sunday morning. After a dreamy 9 hours sleep, I woke up early, got an easy-but-time-consuming task out the way and headed off to my favourite local coffee shop.
I ordered a hot chocolate (what else?) and set up base in what I think is the best spot there – by a huge window where I can look out over the road below. I stuck Ziggy Alberts on my headphones – someone I’ve only recently got into so listening to him still feels like a treat. I’d downloaded February’s edition of The Simple Things magazine a few days ago and saved it for this morning.
Opening and reading the Editor’s Letter, I breathed a sigh of relief. Lisa wrote:
“There are two choices when it comes to February. Hibernate, embrace the duvet and wait for spring, or hold it lightly, look about you and find reasons to be cheerful.”Lisa Sykes
It turns out I’m not the only one that feels this way. When I think about it, I knew that. But when we’re feeling low, and grumpy, and lethargic, and fed up, it’s so easy to think that we’re the only ones. That everyone else is living their happy lives and we’re the only ones who are impacted by weather, or news, or anxieties. It’s a welcome comfort to realise – or indeed, be reminded – that I’m not the only person to have fallen out with February, or to find this month difficult.
So, as Lisa says, I have two options. As much as I LOVE my duvet, I’m opting for number two: I’m going to look for reasons to be cheerful, and if I can’t find them, I’m going to make them.
Below are just a few ideas I’ve had already, that might help you if you’re feeling the same.
How to get out of the February funk
- Embrace socialising
It’s so easy to get home when it’s dark and cold and just burrow on the sofa, scrolling away life. Instead, I’m going to ensure I plan things with friends.
- Do something you enjoy
In a similar vein, I haven’t been doing much arty stuff lately, so I’m inviting people over for a fun art night with a tasty vegan chilli, nachos and wine to accompany the artwork.
- Bake something tasty and share with others
(or just eat it all yourself…). Baking is good for my soul, and I don’t do enough of it. Yesterday I made caramel shortbread and took it to my friend’s birthday. It was so tasty and tbh it’s a nice eco-boost when others compliment something you’ve made.
- Plan a trip to look forward to
All being well with the virus, I’m heading to the beach in a couple of weeks. That always cheers me up, and it’s something to look forward to. You might not have the time or money for a full weekend away, but even if you go on a day trip to the next town, exploring somewhere new is always fun. Alternatively, get planning a longer trip to take in a few months time.
- Stay home and enjoy it
Balance is key, isn’t it? All these things are fun, exciting activities, but nestling in with a good book or show on Netflix is always great too. Have a look at my January recommendations here.
How do you feel about February? What have you been doing to lift your spirits?