February is the new March - Finding optimism this winter.
1172 Days Ago
January I can deal with. There is optimism, a new start and the whole year to look forward to. Plus you made it through the festive period and that is cause for a mini celebration in itself. I find things start getting ropey come February. February can be the time of year when people get fed up with themselves. Frustrated that your New Year’s resolutions aren’t going to plan. You feel down because you haven’t felt sunlight on your face for months.
Below are some things that I try and do, always do and should definitely do more of, plus tips and tricks that I have picked up from clever people along the way. I hope they give you some helpful ideas to beat those February blues.
1) Go on, get out
There is real temptation in February to wrap up warm, dim the lights and eat your way through until April. I am not knocking this as an option but there is a lot to be said for forcing yourself to leave the house and doing something you enjoy. It is true that as soon as you are up it is dark again but forcing yourself to remember what the daylight feels like on your skin will improve your mental and physical state. As will getting moving. It is the hardest time of the year to find the motivation to get going but the benefits in going for a walk or joining that Zumba class you have always wanted to try will be immediate.
2) Something new
The monotony of these winter months can sap the optimism out of the most cheery of people. Consider taking that money you would have spent doing the same old thing to try something new. Sign up to that cooking class, go to an exhibition, and eat at that restaurant you have always wanted to try. Break free of the same old same old thing and bring some fresh energy into your month.
3) No good deed goes unpunished
Ignore the phrase, doing good things feels good. I know you should do good deeds without expecting anything in return but there is very little in life that can warm the soul better than doing something nice for someone else. Try buying your friend some flowers, letting your mum know she is special or going that extra mile and signing up to volunteer at a place close to your heart. You will be brightening up someone else’s day and making your winter that little bit warmer.
4) Watch what you are watching
There is little in life that will put me in a bad mood quicker than reading the comments section on social media. If February is getting you down then consider taking note of what you are feeding your mind with. There is nothing wrong with watching ridiculous people do ridiculous things but there can come a point when reality TV, the news and social media can filter into your mind in negative way.
5) And breathe
If February is testing your patience and you are dealing with multiple issues this can manifest itself into an uncontrollable problem. Be aware of the little things that annoy you and let them go. Mindfulness is a healthy way of doing this. Figure out techniques you can use everyday day. Allowing the small things to get on top of you can ruin your day. Let this month be about managing and overcoming the things that matter.
6) It’s nice to be nice (to yourself)
It sounds simple but very few people can do this and do this well. Watch and listen to what you are telling yourself. You may be surprised at the bad things you let yourself get away with thinking and eventually believing. If you are trying to do something new, as so many are this time of year, then encourage yourself. Concentrate on the things you are doing well and reward your self for it. It is never the right time of year to put your self down. Notice what you say to yourself and go out of your way to start congratulating and respecting the person you are.
And finally …
7) The bigger picture
Even though you are two months in it can seem like its been twelve already. Try to look beyond February, try to remember all the things you are working towards, make plans and get excited. Be grateful for the things you have now and all that you will gain this year. Concentrate on the good things that happen each day, write them down, tell them to someone. Be grateful. Look at the bigger picture and realise, February will come and go as February always does, you may as well make the most it, do something with it and look forward with optimism to the rest of the year.
Article written by Alice Martin - London
I am an Emotional Wellbeing Coach for both young people and adults.
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